Exhibitions

> Art Forms in Nature

Karl Blossfeldt

23 January - 28 February, 2015


A photographer and professor at the Royal School of the Museum of Decorative Arts in Berlin, Karl Blossfeldt (1865–1932) is recognised for his extensive and unique photographic plant portraits, which were created to support his argument that all forms created by man, have their origins in nature. His unique photographs reveal the tactile qualities, intricate forms and peculiar aspects of flora which, when magnified transform to resemble architectural structures and the ornamented patterned surfaces of modernist designs. Blossfeldt’s fusion of scientific observation, sculptural form and abstract compositions pioneered an artistic style that forged new approaches to modern art and photography.

Karl Blossfeldt - Art Forms in Nature is organised by Tasveer and TARQ in partnership with Vacheron Constantin and The Singleton of Glen Ord, and forms part of the gallery’s 9th season of exhibitions.

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Karl Blossfeldt

A self-taught photographer, and professor at the Royal School of the Museum of Decorative Arts in Berlin, Karl Blossfeldt (1865–1932) is recognised for his extensive and unique photographic plant portraits, created to support his argument that all forms created by man, have their origins in nature. These unique photographs reveal the tactile qualities, intricate forms and peculiar aspects of flora which, when magnified transform to resemble architectural structures and the ornamented patterned surfaces of modernist designs. Blossfeldt’s fusion of scientific observation, sculptural form and abstract compositions pioneered an artistic style that forged new approaches to modern art and photography. Blossfeldt’s ambitious photographic archive was not intended to produce modernist masterpieces, but instead to create academic tools which illustrated his hypothesis that the structural qualities found in nature could be translated and applied to the fields of sculpture, engineering and architecture. He is often recognised as one of the pioneers of modernist photography, particularly New Objectivity, because of his systematic, typological and original approach to the medium. Blossfeldt built a series of cameras with interchangeable lenses, that allowed for greater magnification and through these was able to examine his botanical specimens in unprecedented, microscopic detail revealing their unusual and intricate characteristics. Working at the junction of Art Nouveau and Modernism, Blossfeldt’s works were primarily used as pedagogical sources for German designers. His work was brought to public attention, when he worked with the publisher, Ernst Wasmuth, to put together a book of his photographs; Urformen Der Kunst, (Art forms in Nature sometimes translated as Archetypal forms in Nature), published in 1928. An extensive study of organic forms, Urformen der Kunst was positively received not only in the very different avant-garde worlds of Berlin and Paris, but also in the popular press, and it altered the public’s perception of the natural world. It is regarded as a seminal book on photography, and it is from this book, that the photographs in Tasveer’s exhibition come.

Press

  • Flash Back

    At a time when workshops are being conducted to perfect the art of taking selfies and digital cameras are being replaced by phone cameras, Tarq's upcoming show, Karl Blossfeldt - Art Forms In Nature, takes us on a nostalgia trip dating back to the turn of the 20th century.

    Hindustan Times
    19 Jan 2015
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  • Portrait of a plant

    A series of iconic vintage photographs await you at Tarq Gallery and are part of the exhibition, titled Karl Blossfeldt — Art Forms in Nature. The exhibition features the works of Karl Blossfeldt (1865–1932), who was a photographer and professor at the Royal School of the Museum of Decorative Arts in Berlin.

    Mid-day
    23 Jan 2015
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  • In Plant Sight

    If you thought nature is only beautiful when viewed with all its glorious colours, Karl Blossfeldt’s Art Forms in Nature will make you think again. This solo show has on display his ‘photographic plant portraits’ in black and white, each one being more beautiful than the last.

    Verve
    23 Jan 2015
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