Marianne Boesky Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of new photographs and lightboxes by the Swiss artist Thomas Flechtner. This will be the artist’s second solo exhibition at the gallery.
The exhibition consists of Flechtner’s most recent bodies of work Sakura and Sites (made between 2002 – 2006), and marks a significant departure from his past series Snow, generated over the previous six years. The linear minimalism and monochromatic stillness so prevalent in the artist’s earlier photographs are replaced by a multiplicity of form and superabundance of color. Flechtner again trains his lens upon the natural world, continuing to explore the boundary of where wilderness meets landscape.
In Sakura, Flechtner selects the transient Japanese cherry blossom as his subject for the series. The photographs mark a measure of rare release by the artist, where long exposure captures unpredictable movements beyond Flechtner’s control. Presented in lightboxes, the delicate flowers with their translucent pinks and whites are blurred in the foregrounds, seeming to continuously dissolve and reform in space and scale. The dark armature of the branches provides a striking contrast to the disintegrating pastels. With some varieties of the cherry blossoms blooming and scattering within a week, Flechtner manages to illustrate the fragility of the ephemeral, countless petals and accordingly portrays a vulnerable natural world.
In Sites, nature is cultivated, sectioned off and commoditized. This is no found nature but rather a controlled one; a manmade landscape carefully nurtured for profit. Flechtner photographs regulated rows of carpet-like strips of grass, boxed grids of cramped flower farms, shorn earth, and instruments used for pesticide spraying. While the vibrant shades of white, pink, and cerise fields of phlox bursts forth, the flowers themselves remain contained by metal fences. Flechtner’s wide-angled images depict flora ready for quick transport to another clime. Where his past Walks (1998-2001) series addressed the artist making his own personal imprint on the land, Sites further explores the threshold of man’s touch upon nature.
Thomas Flechtner was born in 1961 in Winterthur, Switzerland. He currently lives and works in Valliere, France and Zurich, Switzerland. A fully illustrated catalogue, Bloom, (pub. Lars Müller, 2007) with an essay by Cherry Smyth is available.