Friday, December 21, 2012

Un nouveau regard

NELLY'S | Un nouveau regard (1899-1998)

AD gallery presentss a solo show-tribute to Nelly’s (also known as Elli Sougioultzoglou-Seraidari, 1899 Aydin, Asia Minor – 1998 Athens, Greece) entitled Un nouveau regard (A new glance). In the exhibition will be presented a series of works of the historical Greek photographer, including “New York Easter Parade”. This work, which the photographer created by the urge and encouragement of Alexey Brodovitch (director of the Harper’s Bazaar magazine), is being displayed again, after 1992, with a selection of her portraits, landscapes and photographs of the Acropolis monuments.

Nelly’s has studied photography in Germany, near the great classic photographer Hugo Erfurt and later, near Franz Fiedler, she was initiated into the new approach in photography and the European neο-romanticism. She opened her first studio at Ermou street in Athens in 1924 and her lens captured important personalities and themes of that time, like the famous dancer Mona Paeva dancing nude in the Parthenon, the Delphic Festival and Eva Sikelianou, Dimitris Mitropoulos principal conductor of the Metropolitan Opera of New York etc. 

The Athens writer and historian Dimitris Kambouroglou showed her Athens through his own eyes. Nelly’s followed his glance and photographed. The result was a series of photos of outstanding aesthetic value. The photograph of Mona Paeva, nude on the Parthenon would cause a scandal in the small city of Athens of that time. The photographer will be defended by Pavlos Nirvanas in his column at Elefthero Vima newspaper (May 1929).

Since even her studies and her nudes at Fiedler’s studio in Germany, Nelly’s removes the background’s elements by focusing her attention to the theme. This results in reversing voluntarily the references of orientation and the final image is formed as a mix of realistic and abstract types. By that way, she manages to incorporate the spectator’s wonder as an element of the image. Knowing that she is the one directing the spectator’s gaze through the lens of the camera and that he will identify with her position, she accentuates his wonder by giving him the oportunity to read the image in a double way in relation to the earth’s horizon.

(click photo to enlarge)

Her classical education and her admiration of the Ancient Greek civilization have contributed to her photographic work in Acropolis in a way that the latter has become decisive for the artist herself but also for the history of photography and architecture in general.

In her portraits Nelly’s uses artificial light, leaving one part of the form in the dark, while the background remains empty, as a reference to the Great Masters of the Renaissance. The aim of this work was the search for the spiritual element, the poetic atmosphere and the demonstration of the form’s most profound essence.    

Exhibition duration: November 10, 2012 – January 12, 2013              [ +info ]

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