Bernheimer Fine Art Switzerland is pleased to present the exhibition City Portraits. Photographs by Christopher Thomas at the gallery in Lucerne, Haldenstrasse 11.
As an artist, Christopher Thomas has established a reputation above all with his city portraits: silent photos of city scenes, taken with a large-format camera and printed on hand-made laid paper. The film is a black-and-white type 55 film by Polaroid.
The first of his city portraits was the cycle Münchner Elegien (Munich Elegies), which was shown in the Museum of Photography in Munich in 2005 (published by Schirmer/Mosel Verlag, 2005). Here, Christopher Thomas depicts Munich as a city of silence with deserted places, beyond the hustle and bustle of the urban live. Consciously, he chooses monuments of the city in neo-classical style of the kings, the parks, the river - familiar places but never perceived in this way. When the city sleeps, he heads off – for years - and installs his camera. As if, at this moment when night borders day, he could uncover the essence of the city, erasing the profane and quotidian in favor of the “eternal” or timeless: the English Garden, the Courtyard, Nymphenburg Park, Isarauen in the early morning fog, the naked trees as schemes in the dust. He shows us nostalgic and ephemeral sceneries, places and monuments - all without any traces of flaneurs or residents.
This series was followed by the series New York Sleeps, which he created between 2001 and 2009. The companion publication, New York Sleeps. Photographs by Christopher Thomas, published by Prestel Verlag in 2009 (6th edition 2012), was awarded the Deutscher Fotobuchpreis (German Photobook Prize). In the early morning he sets off like a flâneur on foot with his heavy camera equipment, when the hectic city life is not awaken yet and the people are still hanging on their faded dreams. In these atmospheric hours he elicits the city’s beauty that arises from the silence. His photographs show the different sides of New York: the capital as a place, in which the places and monuments only belong to them selves. Fifth Avenue, Flatiron Building, Brooklyn Bridge, Central Park – these are not the hidden corners, but the grandiose landmarks of modern architecture, which Thomas captures in breath-taking views, almost unreal setting, however, without any digital manipulation: in the early morning fog, beneath autumn leaves or pristine blankets of snow, photographed in black-and-white Polaroid.
The Polaroid series Venedig. Die Unsichtbare (Venice in Solitude), published by Prestel Verlag in 2012, was created in 2011 and 2012 and was shown worldwide in galleries and at trade fairs. Christopher Thomas also reveals Venice with his larg-format camera and catches the sleeping beauty on a Polaroid-film at dawn. His camera shows a city, that have fallen out of time, a place that seems to be not from this world. It is this atmosphere, in which people have disappeared and left space for images beyond the everyday bustle.
In October 2014 a catalogue parallel to the exhibition at Bernheimer Fine Art Photography, Munich will be published including one of his most recent works: Paris im Licht . Fotografien von Christopher Thomas.
The photographs will be showcased for the first time in Munich. Eight works from Paris will be also on display in Lucerne.