1997 -
9 black-and-white gelatin silver prints
Dimensions: 54 x 48 cm 59,5 x 49 cm
Reference: ACF0996
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The black-and-white photographs by Jochen Lempert (Moers, West Germany, 1958) explore the formal and conceptual relationships between the artificial and natural environments. Lempert trained as a biologist before venturing into the world of visual art and his choice of subject matter reflects a detailed, analytical look at nature. Images of animals, plants and natural phenomena (oceans, skies, volcanoes…) are grouped and classified in way that owes much to his scientific background but are treated in a highly conceptual and poetic fashion. This system of classification leads him to work in specific areas—animal and plant species—and to use complex work processes spread out over time. In this way, Lambert’s work is like a visual essay where photographic images, relieved of their interpretative and contextual burden, are able to break free and forge their own meta-referential register that makes us think directly about how we perceive and understand images. He uses several systems of photographic reproduction, from 35 mm cameras on scientific research ships to laboratory experiments where he creates new compositions by mixing photographic papers without the use of a camera. His photographs become even more independent when he adapts them to the exhibition space, where his pieces are always displayed without a frame, mounted directly onto the wall and linked in a highly organic and intuitive way with the exhibition space. Oiseaux-Vögel (1997–2013), Aus-Ucelli (1997–2013) and Ptaki-Birds (1997–2005) are series of photographs that resemble the methodology of fellow German photographers Bernd and Hilla Becher, albeit focusing on different subjects. In both cases, their precise analysis of key aspects (industrial buildings in the case of the Bechers, animals in the case of Lempert) lets them examine certain similarities and differences in the forms and appearance of what they photograph. Centring on the world of birds—a recurring theme in his work—and making use of natural history museums’ codes of representation and simulation, Lempert presents groups of 12 photographs of birds that emphasise specific details: their head and beak. His use of black and white and his printing techniques give his images a texture almost like charcoal drawings, leading them even farther away from the conventions of documentary photography.

Other artworks in the Collection by the same artist Other artworks in the Collection by the same artist

  • Oiseaux Vögel / 1997 -

  • Ptaki-Birds / 1997 -

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