Andreas Gefeller

Andreas Gefeller

Poles 31
from “The Japan Series”
2010
Pigment Print on Fine Art Paper
100 x 100 cm
Courtesy Thomas Rehbein Galerie Cologne and Hasted Kraeutler New York


ANDREAS GEFELLER

Andreas Gefeller has an atypical way of looking at the world around him. Observation of reality and aesthetic construction come together in photographs that transform our perception of reality and become the expression of an idea of beauty seen as a “design”, a vision whereby one gains an awareness of a higher level of meaning of the world we live in day to day. The images of The Japan Series testify to the relation between nature and culture, spontaneous growth and human rational construction: topographies of agricultural plantations and close-up views of intersections or junctions of electric and telephone wires, shot during the day or at night.

Gefeller photographs from below, aiming his lens at his subjects from two different angles; he then recomposes the perspectives to create a single image; any element that has thickness is removed in the interests of a weightlessness of the final design. The images are constructed in such a way as to appear extremely flat and devoid of any perspective illusionism. The wires are joined in twisted knots and junctions, floating in a pure open space. Some elements have more substance, like certain electric transformers, from which dense, chaotic tangles unravel, in their centripetal movement resolving into simple, rational lines.

The photographs are reminiscent of a form of expression typical of the oriental world: the art of the decorative script of calligraphy. The electric cables, as well as the pergolas, espaliers or the branches that rest on them are lines that intertwine, forming abstract patterns that stand out against pure black and white backgrounds. The lines of the branches and cables then continue beyond the field of the images as if suggesting their potentially infinite continuation.

With the advent of new digital technology, the “construction” of a photographic image has taken on new meaning, shifting a large part of the photographer’s work to the moment after the shot, with the manipulation in post-production. The work of Andreas Gefeller puts together various levels of construction to obtain images which, although retaining a strong and characterizing hyper-realism in their attention to detail, appear as abstract compositions, designs realized through the reworking of what the camera has recorded. Thanks to these images “we become physically aware of the fact that we see”, but also of an overturning of perspective in the relation between man and the world. Gefeller’s art becomes an instrument for transforming our observation of reality into a search for a hidden beauty, an underlying order and harmony.

Andreas Gefeller (1970, Düsseldorf, Germany; where he lives and works) creates striking photographic works that combine documentary-style realism with a deliberate shift in orientation that compels us to adjust our perspective and to see another layer of meaning in the structures of the everyday world. He studied photography at the University of Essen, where he completed his degree with honors under Bernhard Prinz in 2000. In 2001, Gefeller was appointed to the German Academy of Photography (Deutsche Fotografische Akademie). He has published several monographs, including Soma, Supervisions, Andreas Gefeller – Photographs and The Japan Series which won German Photo Book Awards Gold in 2012. In 2002 Gefeller had his first solo show, at the Galerie Hohmann, Hamburg, and in 2004 he had his first monographic exhibition at the Thomas Rehbein Galerie, Cologne. His recent solo exhibition The Japan Series showed at the Hasted Kraeutler Gallery, New York (2011) and the Thomas Rehbein Galerie, Cologne (2010). Other notable recent solo shows were held at: (2011) Kunsthalle Erfurt, Erfurt; (2010) Landesgalerie Linz, Linz; (2010) Munchner Stadtmuseum – Sammlung Fotografie, Munich; (2009) Stadtgalerie Saarbrücken, Saarbrücken; (2009) Hasted Hunt Gallery, New York; (2008) Zern, Berlin; (2007) Kunstverein Heinsberg, Heisenberg. Gefeller’s latest group exhibitions include: (2013) Vue d’en haut, Centre Pompidou-Metz; (2013) Metropolis: Reflections on the Modern City, Birmingham Museum, Birmingham, UK; (2013) Light Sensitive, Nasher Museum of Art, Durham, North Carolina; (2012) Wasserstandsmeldung, Kunstmuseum, Bonn; (2012) Out of Focus, Saatchi Gallery, London; (2011) The Detour of the Real, Seoul Photo Festival 2011; (2009) Manipulating Reality, CCC Strozzina, Palazzo Strozzi, Florence; Ferne Nähe – Natur in der Kunst der Gegenwart, Kunstmuseum Bonn, Bonn.



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