Museum Exhibition Catalogues, Monographs, Artist's Projects, Curatorial Writings and Essays
"Shot outdoors under conditions dictated by her huge, primitive, volatile subject, the Atlantic Ocean, they are a record of open water as it acts like a giant mirror; reflecting what is happening that second in the sky. They are not her staged inventions but instead represent a more or less faithful record of what she saw as she waited daily and hourly in the hope that something she found dazzling or strange would appear in the viewfinder of her camera. "And yet, each of these image--from a series that has spanned ten years--was taken in the same place, from the back of the beach house this German-born artist shares with her husband on the southern shore of Long Island, New York. Like a studio photographer, she has severely restricted her formal vocabulary, choosing to vary only the placement of the horizon lines in the frame. The mighty unpredictability of the ocean has been domesticated, its windswept vastness continuously tamed by the rules she has set herself in making art." Richard B. Woodward, excerpted from A Mirror on which to Dwell in Oceanscapes.
This new project by German-born photographer Renate Aller is an extension of the ongoing series and book Oceanscapes (2010). Aller has continued to make images of the ocean from a single vantage point--for which she is internationally known--but for the last several years, she has also photographed sand dunes in New Mexico and Colorado. She has now paired the resulting images in a fascinating new series that continues her investigation into the relationship between romanticism, memory and landscape in the context of our current sociopolitical awareness. There is both a visual and visceral relationship between the two bodies of work. The desert images also capture visitors to the dunes, who engage in beach activities far away from any large body of water. And while these parallel realities are from completely different locations, the simultaneous, multiple activities on the sloping sand hills appears as if layers of different people and activities were choreographed next to rolling waves of the sea. Aller's first combination of these images was in book form, for a mammoth handmade book that was 36 inches wide. The overwhelming success of that publication has inspired this new trade edition, which features the largest binding that can be mechanically bound, and includes an expanded selection of the work. Born in Germany, Renate Aller lives and works in New York. Ocean and Desert is her third monograph published with Radius Books, following Dicotyledon and the long-term project Oceanscapes-One View-Ten Years. Pieces from that series and other site-specific artworks are in the collections of corporate institutions, private collectors and museums, including the Lannan Foundation, Santa Fe; the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; Yale University Art Gallery, Conneticut; the George Eastman House, Rochester; New Britain Museum of American Art; Hamburger Kunsthalle; and the Chazen Museum of Art, Madison.
Published by Radius Books. Text by Richard B. Woodward, Jasmin Seck, Dr. Petra Roettig.
German-born photographer Renate Aller has been photographing the Atlantic Ocean for over a decade, from a single point on Long Islandís fabled coastline. Her images capture the shifting colors and textures of the sky and water, and the beauty and grandeur of the ocean, providing a rich document of what has made the Hamptons such an integral aspect of New York life. The sublime beauty of this Atlantic view, which Aller connects to the great nineteenth-century German Romantic painter Caspar David Friedrich, also invokes metaphors for the landscapes of human emotions. Allerís viewpoint is static, but the changing weather and light allow for a diverse series of images that invite a plethora of associations. Essays place Allerís work both in the context of landscape photography and the history of images of the Hamptons.