JEFF COWEN. SCULPTURE PHOTOGRAPHS

4 JUNE - 23 JULY 2016

Michael Werner Kunsthandel is presenting for the first time in Cologne a new series by Jeff Cowen entitled „Sculpture Photographs“. At the opening, Magdalena Kröner will be speaking with the artist about his approach to the medium of photography as a painter, and the significance of this series in his oeuvre.

Cowen developed a growing interest in sculptural works while visiting the Guggenheim Museum in the early 1990s. It was there that he encountered a sculpture by Alberto Giacometti which was only 8 cm tall but made a lasting impression on the New York born artist. However sculpture only started to play a more intensive role in his work many years later. The challenge of using in his own creative output the work made by other artists, many of them very well known, initially seemed too daunting. Cowen’s aim is to enter into an artistic dialogue with the originators and thereby to add a specific quality to the sculptures. He is in no way motivated by any interest in photographic documentation of the original works.

A richly illustrated catalogue will be published to mark this exhibition. Cowen’s first one-man-show to be held in a museum will open on 31 October 2016 in the Ludwigmuseum in Koblenz, and will then be on display in Amsterdam as from March 2017 in the Huis Marseille, Museum voor Fotografie.

Extract from the interview with Magdalena Kröner and Jeff Cowen (Berlin, March 2916):

„These kinds of collaborations are fascinating for me, such as Steichen’s photography of Rodin’s "Balzac" sculpture that spurred an intense collaboration of both artists. Rodin’s sculpture was initially even laughed at by the critics and yet Steichen went to Paris largely just to photograph this work. His image has nothing to do with documenting the sculpture, the photograph has a poetry all its own. So for me Steichen was collaborating with Rodin… I tried to also channel the originators of the sculptures in my project. It is a dialogue and, in a way, a collaboration I have with the spirit of the sculptor. I could not make these works without them – I do my best to uphold and hopefully add to the spiritual quality of these works. I have no interest in solely documenting, it is more about giving life to and creating a unique new entity inspired by the original work.”