22 January – 5 March 2018

SENSATIONNELLE NOVITÄT

Martin Gerlach and Ogawa Kazumasa

Sensationnelle Novität (Sensational Novelty) borrows its title from the promotional material for a series of collotypes by Martin Gerlach and brings together works by pioneers of photography Martin Gerlach and Ogawa Kazumasa.

Martin Gerlach (Martin Peter Gerlach)
March 13, 1846 – April 9, 1918

German-Austrian photographer and publisher Martin Gerlach was amongst the first to experiment with photography. The exhibition features eight collotypes from Festons und Decorative Gruppen nebst einem Zieralphabete aus Pflanzen und Thieren, Jagd, Touristen – und anderen Geräthen (1893), presented for the first time in the historical context and the intellectual milieu of Secessionist Vienna. This was Gerlach’s first publication to include exclusively photographic work. The highly imaginative collages on display are selected from an extensive series of 146 collotypes. Gerlach’s compositions are an idiosyncratic innovation within the tradition of botanical compendia — in his own words, Gerlach’s desire to “offer too much rather than too little” meant that the collages were effectively “a kind of piling up of subjects”.

Ogawa Kazumasa (also known as Ogawa Kazuma or Ogawa Isshin)
September 29, 1860 – September 6, 1929

Japanese photographer, printer, and publisher Ogawa Kazumasa is widely acknowledged as one of the pioneers of photography and photomechanical printing in the Japanese Meiji era. His training in photography started at the age of 15 and furthered when he moved to Boston to train in portraiture and the dry plate process. Ogawa is credited for being among the first to provide views of his times to a wider local public, while his contribution to the understanding of the Meiji period outside Japan is considered invaluable. Even though he is best known for illustrations involving collotypes and half-tone prints, Ogawa used a number of other techniques, including ambrotypes, albumen prints, platinotype prints, and stereoviews. Sensationnelle Novität features four of Ogawa’s colour flower collotypes.

Exhibition Organised by Andry Panayiotou

Photos: Mirka K./The Island Club