Opening: Thursday, April 28, 2016, 19-21h
Exhibition: April 29 – May 28, 2016
Opening hours: Thu-Sat 12-18h, and by appointment
Extended opening hours for Gallery Weekend Berlin 2016 (Fri, April 29 – Sun, May 1):
Saturday 12-18h & Sunday 14-18h
Light is the photographer’s material. He uses light to delineate – as the term implies – the surfaces of his models: it falls gently on the quince’s downy bloom, gets lost in the refractions of the glass, and runs along the individual wisps of a young girl’s hair.
Ingar Krauss’ working method is marked by an interest in the materiality and feel of surfaces. To arrange his still lifes, he constructs stage-like boxes in which he captures natural light in such a way that it becomes a subtle actor in the silent drama. He always prints his analogue, black-and-white photography himself on silver gelatin paper and reworks the prints by hand with a glaze of oil paint. Oil was also the binder medium of Dutch Renaissance painters, who became the masters of materiality as a consequence of the newly acquired, extended drying times of their paintings – not least because the layers of oil paint were able to pool the ambient light on the surface of the painting, thus enhancing the shine and depth of the painted objects.
The exacting composition of a pear and a pane of glass is part of a series created in 2014 during a fellowship in Jena. The works are dedicated to this inclusion of light and the way it is refracted through glass. The manufacturing of glass has a long tradition in Jena. What is known as “Jena glass” was developed in 1887 and was featured as a material in designs created in the 1920s and 1930s by artists such as Gerhard Marcks or the Bauhaus designer Wilhelm Wagenfeld.
When viewing the pear in relationship to the glass, you must first figure out and discern whether the strict symmetry is a reflection or a refraction. The material of glass, as subtle as the light itself in its transparency, is typically used to protect a photograph in a frame, creating a reflective distance between it and the viewer. Here, its very materiality and raw edges are highlighted. It concentrates the light in the center of the image, thus serving as a metaphor for photography itself. As the lens of the camera, however, it also functions as a visual tool for focusing light.
Oil, glass, frame. They preserve and protect against the effects of time. What makes Ingar Krauss’ photographs so impressive is the immediacy and urgency of time. In his portraits, the child and teen models are as static and immovable in their surrounding as still lifes. The focus is inexorably fixed on their maturing bodies and their gazes, which so often contradict these stationary poses. The portrait of the young girl Hannah holding a beet in her hands combines the motifs of plant still lifes and children’s portraits. The symbolism of growth that is intrinsic to the root makes the image of the girl seem less like a portrait and more like an allegory of youth.
Text: Isabelle Busch
English translation: Eric Smith
b. 1965 in East Berlin
Lives and works in Berlin and Zechin (Brandenburg)
Active as a photographer since the mid-1990s. His work has been featured in numerous exhibitions, including the Hayward Gallery London, Musée de l’Elysée Lausanne, Palazzo Vecchio Florence, ICP New York, C/O Berlin, Kunstmuseum DKW Cottbus, and publications by Hatje Cantz, Thames & Hudson, Powerhouse Books, Mondadori Electa, Kerber Verlag, Skira Editore, EXIT Magazine and others.