Elger Essers photographs walk a line between painterly concerns and photographic documentation, unapologetically beautiful images that document an emotional presence in the synchronicity of light and color. Six American Sunsets is the product of a two-month residency with The Lapis Press in Culver City, CA. Captured in the course of road trips through Central and Northern California and the Washington coast these images display the same searching gaze that expertly framed his well known landscapes of Western Europe. But in these images of the American West theres an added element of a place steeped in its own myth; this is the end of westward expansion. Setting his tripod near the same bluffs Weston did decades before, Esser has created a body of work that takes into account the traditional canons of landscape photography and painting even as it pursues a contemporary conceptual model. Six American Sunsets is another magnificent achievement it is an impressive investigation of landscape, history, place and the imagery that surrounds it.
Elger Esser was born in Stuttgart in 1967 and was raised in Rome. In 1986, he moved to Düsseldorf, where he worked as a commercial photographer until 1991. He then attended the Düsseldorf Kunstakademie, studying with Bernd and Hilla Becher, until 1997. Esser’s pictures are included in numerous public and private collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Guggenheim Foundation, Kunsthaus Zürich, and FNAC Paris. (RoseGallery)
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