Gerald Zugmann - Fotografie KG Fine Art Photography | Projects | Gerald Zugmann | Vienna
Separating Gerald Zugmann's work into fine art photography and commercial photography is a arbitrary decision. Even his architectural photographs he has never understood as primarily documentary. He has always stood for the strict distinction between reality and photo: “To be absolutely precise, one has to consider that a photo has nothing to do with reality. A photograph has an edge. It is an extract. It is the result of an abstraction and a reduction – an interpretation. Reality and photo are two different points of view. Regrettably, this is reconsidered rarely." (interview 2004).
The mentioned separation allows him to call the deserved attention to some fine art photography projects, that mean a lot to him – including and excluding architecture.
During a residence in California (1998-2001) the work along the local architecture unavoidably led to the interest concerning landscape photography: “Photographing landscapes was new to me. The genre of landscape photography is complex – especially when it comes to very strong places like Death Valley or Sierra Nevada. Looking at my first photo I was deeply frustrated and wanted to give up right away. While you are (physically) in between landscape, the reality is overwhelming and it seems to be impossible, to give justice to this vastness and the intensity of being-in-the-nature in a two-dimensional way. Back at home – from distance – I found out that nevertheless photographs are able to function as a constructed representation of landscapes.” (interview 2004).
After the shots in California followed the large landscape image series Glenkeen Garden (2008-2012).
Already starting in 1995, Gerald Zugmann began working on his Twilight Projekt. For that reason he analysed plant architecture and built artificial landscapes in his studio: “The most eyecatching characteristic of these photographic works is an open, permeable space with an undeniable affinity for the nature of plants. The most outstanding features of these photographs are the steam rising from the earth, a ragged mountain range jutting out of a wasteland, long feather-like leaves of bent down grass and the mineral quality of the light. Pictures of a world devoid of living creatures. Motionless, silent. Everything the world could be, the sequences of all metamorphoses are presented in an anthological showing. The shapes, which abundantly proliferate in nature, are restyled in the artist’s studio, where they acquire a dance-like levity. Applying techniques reminiscent of window decorating and flower-arranging, Gerald Zugmann simulates scenarios situated somewhere between the stars and the bottom of the sea. (…) Among the instrumental components of the designing process are the sublime composition of vegetational elements and the gradual shift from ascetic black and white contrasts to colour: to the colour of twilight just before nightfall, the colours of a gentle fire and the setting sun.” (Gerhard Fischer im Katalog Gerald Zugmann farbe der dämmerung / colour of twilight, 1997).
Until today he is working on that – meanwhile more artificial spaces (Anthurium Andereanum) and grass images (Notes of Grass) have joined his working environment.
Most of the output inside the portfolio of fine art photography has this in common: apart from a few exceptions they are all multiple toned Gelatin Silver Prints (a darkroom process that was invented by Gerald Zugmann himself). The composition of one of these photographs has the same significance as the production of a negative. A work, that can never be delegated to someone else.