Galerie Karsten Greve is delighted to present This Shimmering World, a solo exhibition featuring new work by American photographer Thomas Brummett. Works from the RIVER and HALOS series, created in 2020 and 2021 and part of Rethinking the Natural, Brummett’s “project of a lifetime,” will be on show. In his photography series, Thomas Brummett not only explores natural phenomena but also manifestations of the cosmos in many different ways. All his images are contemplative and profound in character, created through quiet attention and intensive observation of his current surroundings. They are based on a rendering of a vital microcosm reflected in the macrocosm of his pictures: “One constant in my work would be looking at things very closely or over long periods of time. “These images are my meditations and are a constant through my life’s work,” says Thomas Brummett.
The influence of traditions from the Far East combined with modern natural science is just as clearly evident in his works as is the spiritual and artistic examination of nature and one’s own existence. He uses the camera as a tool, as a research instrument and mediator between the inner and outer worlds, microcosm and macrocosm, close-up and long-distance view, human being and cosmos. The River series addresses the endless movement of a river in which the world at the edge of the bank is reflected in different ways. Consisting almost exclusively of abstract organic patterns, the images appear as if they were abstract drawings when looked at from a distance. Up close, you can see the reflections in the river, which, to Thomas Brummett, seem like “portals into a reversed other world “.
His Halos series is dedicated to the light effects of atmospheric optics, known as halo phenomena. Halos are created by refraction and reflection of light, similar to rainbows. Thomas Brummett’s Halos pictures show this interaction of light and nature. They are light images exuding an almost mystical atmosphere and poetic beauty. The artist sublimates his many years of exploring the perception and reproduction of the phenomenon of light in its various forms. For him, light not only means physical light but also spiritual light, whose “shimmering,” almost magical quality, fed from an infinite source, invites the viewer to contemplatively approach his idea of “true Seeing.”
A true genius and beloved educator at Cranbrook. Carl was one of the first to work with Xerox Machines. He believed the copy machine to be yet another type of instant camera. He created an entirely new vocabulary in the tradition of the photographic collage that has yet to be equaled. Everyone who studied under Carl walked away changed for the better. (His legendary lectures could go for six hours!) Carl has influenced an entire generation of great artists and photographers.
“A major goal of my work has been to incorporate aspects of photographic process or or phenomena as a central part of its meaning/structure. These self-reflexive elements provide a counterpoint to the connections of unmediated transcription of reality that we associate with photographic depiction”.
Artist statement by Carl via Carl Toth Monograph published by Cranbrook.
UPDATE: After years of effort a retrospective at Cranbrook has finally arrived. https://cranbrookartmuseum.org/exhibition/carl-toth-reordering-fictions/
Carl Toth’s artis included in collections at museums and centers including the Museum of Modern Art, The International Museum of Photography at the George Eastman House, The Center for Creative Photography and The Art Institute of Chicago. Toth is the recipient of three fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Carl Toth passed away on August 20th, 2022
He will be sadly missed by hundreds of his students…
The Xerographic Collages of Carl Toth