LONDON.- The Wapping Project Bankside
opens 2011 with Munich based German photographer, Christopher Thomas
. New York Sleeps: Photographs by Christopher Thomas, 2001-2009 (Prestel 2009, 2nd ed 2010) is a series of black and white images shot using a custom-made large format camera, Polaroid film and long exposures. The resulting exhibition of 30 large-scale cityscapes, devoid of people, offers an elusive glimpse of 19th century tranquility while hinting at a cryptic, apocalyptic ending.
From views of a snow bound Guggenheim to a boarded up Katz Deli, Thomas New York looks abandoned. Are these architectural studies? Not quite. Does the beauty of each image satisfy the viewer? Not really. What first appears as neo-romantic imagery, beauty for beautys sake, is made richer and darker by the lack of human interaction. This is not the rowdy, noisy NYC as one knows it, but rather a quieter, more disturbing sequence of spaces, theatrical sets, waiting for the word action. It is an outsiders view of a city and recalls NYCs Northern European roots - the orderliness of the Low Countries, Dutch and Flemish painting - the cool eye of a European, cast on the grit of New York, in the even light of dawn.
Born in Germany in 1961, Christopher Thomas lives and works in Munich and New York. His journalistic work for Geo, Stern, Süddeutsche Zeitung and Merian amongst others, has earned many awards. His fine art projects have been published - Munich Elegies, Photographs from 1999 2005, (Schirmer/ Mosel, 2005), Say Nothing Now Interviews Without Words (Süddeutsche Zeitung, 2008), and his most recent work Passion, shot in April and May 2010 in Oberammergau during the rehearsal of the passion play (Prestel, 2010) also included in the show.
The Wapping Project Bankside is a gallery focusing on lens based media founded by Jules Wright, Director of The Wapping Project. 12 January 26 February 2011.