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Boden Sea, Uttwil

Hiroshi Sugimoto (Japanese, born Tokyo, 1948)

Date:
1993
Medium:
Gelatin silver print
Dimensions:
42.3 x 54.2 cm (16 5/8 x 21 5/16 in.)
Classification:
Photographs
Credit Line:
Purchase, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation Gift, through Joyce and Robert Menschel, 1994
Accession Number:
1994.144.8
Rights and Reproduction:
© Hiroshi Sugimoto
  • Description

    Conceptual and perceptual richness, impeccable craftmanship, and minimalism—these qualities of twelfth-century Japanese painting inspire Sugimoto and characterize his work, especially the seascapes. Since 1980 the artist has traveled the world to stand on remote cliffs overlooking the ocean. Sugimoto is not interested in boats, bathers or spectacular sunsets but rather in the particularity of light and atmosphere in any specific region and in the way those effects play in front of the horizon, which always precisely bisects his frame.


    The horizon is central to Sugimoto's work; it describes the contact between Earth's surface and the ether and is also a metaphor for the bounds of our mental and visual perception. Viewed in a group, the photographs align along the horizon, suggesting the continuity of its compass while revealing endless variations. Rippling tides, luminous haze, shredding mists, windswept air—these aspects in the shifting envelopes of air and water covering the earth have the featureless purity of the world's first day. The depth of field within each picture is as far as the eye can see. This visual approximation of the infinite is an apt expression of the sublime for an age that has forgotten that such majesty exists on a shrinking and polluted planet.

  • Provenance

    Artist; [Sonnabend Gallery, New York]

  • Notes

    No. 3 from an edition of 25.

  • See also
    Who
    What
    Where
    When
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
    MetPublications
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