Galerie Edwynn Houk Zurich is pleased to announce an exhibition of photographs by Nick Brandt (b. 1964, London, United Kingdom) opening on Thursday, May 26. The occasion marks the artist’s first presentation at the gallery’s Zurich location and follows the well-received exhibition at Edwynn Houk Gallery New York of Brandt’s most recent series Inherit the Dust. For Brandt’s Zurich presentation, we are pleased to present a special selection of the artist’s earlier photographs from the series Across The Ravaged Land.
With these large-scale sepia toned images Nick Brandt pays homage to the impressive animals native to Kenya’s expansive landscape. Working for weeks on location in the African savanna, Brandt studies his subjects through the lens of a medium format film camera, just as carefully and considered as one would construct a portrait in a studio setting. He spends days with each animal and waits for a moment of connection, the decisive moment, when everything moves into place and the subject’s individual character is captured in a perfectly composed scene. This approach is particularly evident in the large-scale portrait of one of Brant’s favorite subjects, Elephant on Bare Earth, Amboseli, on view in the exhibition.
Likened to the iconic and emotive portraits of Richard Avedon, Brandt achieves a similar intimacy with his own more unpredictable subjects. John Berger’s seminal essay Why Look at Animals examines humanity’s perception of superiority over the animal kingdom as a result of mankind’s observation of animals without the acknowledgment that they may also be observing us. Through his own work, Brandt in turn subverts this idea by presenting the animals of Kenya looking back at the viewers, not as inferiors but as fellow sentient creatures.
Nick Brandt was born in London, United Kingdom, in 1964 and studied painting and film at London’s Saint Martin’s School of Art. In 2011, the Fotografiska Museum, Stockholm, hosted the artist’s first major solo museum exhibition and this year the institution will exhibit Brandt’s newest series Inherit the Dust, from May 20 through September 11. Brandt has been the subject of exhibitions worldwide at institutions such as Salo Art Museum, Finland; Preus National Museum of Photography, Oslo; Maier Museum of Art, Lynchburg, Virginia, and Hangaram Art Museum, Seoul. Several monographs of Brandt’s work have been published, including On This Earth (Chronicle Books, 2005), A Shadow Falls (Abrams, 2009), and Across The Ravaged Land (Abrams, 2013). The artist lives and works in the mountains of Southern California.