LONDON – A special exhibition at Photo London will provide an opportunity to view rarely seen photographs by William Henry Fox Talbot as well as work by contemporary artists who have recognized his influence. Sun Pictures Then and Now: Talbot and His Legacy Today will be on exhibition at Photo London from May 17-20, 2018 at the West Embankment Gallery, Somerset House.
A man of extraordinary vision, Talbot is known as the inventor of photography on paper. His pioneering process revolutionized the visual world, changing culture, science, and art in ways not seen since the advent of the printing press 500 years earlier. Within five years of his first public announcement in 1839, Talbot so improved his methods that he demonstrated nearly every conceivable application for the new art. His photographs have consistently been a touchstone and, despite the digital revolution, it appears that contemporary artists are exploring Talbot's processes and reconsidering his imagery more than ever.
Presented by Photo London and Hans P. Kraus Jr., Sun Pictures Then and Now: Talbot and His Legacy Today will include work by contemporary artists Adam Fuss, Vera Lutter, Abelardo Morell, Cornelia Parker, Mike Robinson, Grant Romer, and Hiroshi Sugimoto.
Camera-less photographs depicting electrical charges were made by Sugimoto using Talbot's own electrostatic discharge wand, lent to him by the Bodleian Library. Cornelia Parker combined photogenic drawing and photogravure to capture the last eight surviving pieces of glassware—also at the Bodleian—from Talbot's famous photograph Articles of glass. Adam Fuss engages Talbot's spirit of experimentation in his photograms of a delicate child's dress, and an explosion of color in his picture of pansies. Vera Lutter states "in the process of finding my own language and… the possibilities that I found latent in the camera obscura process, of course I turned to the masters of early photography."
Talbot's work on view comprises photogenic drawings, calotype negatives and salt prints, dated 1839 to 1846. Photograms of plants and lace, roofline abstractions, portraits, studies of Talbot's home, Lacock Abbey, and its contents such as Articles of glass and the Bust of Patroclus, along with memorable views of Oxford, Cambridge, Scotland and France are all included in the exhibition.
To complement the exhibition, a conversation with Richard Ovenden, Director of the Bodleian Libraries, Oxford, Talbot scholar Larry J. Schaaf, and Hans P. Kraus Jr., will be held on Thursday, 17 May from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. in the Talks Auditorium at Somerset House as part of the Photo London Public Programme.
The talk presents the opportunity to hear an expert discussion about Talbot's pioneering work in advance of the forthcoming launch of Larry Schaaf's William Henry Fox Talbot Catalogue Raisonné—an online resource of the Bodleian Libraries which will make more than 20,000 original Talbot images freely available for research. The conversation will cover the processes by which Fox Talbot created numerous memorable images that have influenced contemporary photographers and artists.
Hans P. Kraus Jr. Fine Photographs, established in New York in 1984, is a dealer in 19th and early 20th century photographs. The gallery is a member of the ADAA, PADA, and AIPAD, also participating in TEFAF New York Spring, The Art Show, Paris Photo, and The Photography Show presented by AIPAD. Hans P. Kraus Jr. Fine Photographs publishes monographs and catalogues under the series title Sun Pictures. The gallery is located at 962 Park Avenue at 82nd Street in New York City. For more information, please contact 212-794-2064 or firstname.lastname@example.org.