September 19, 2014
With a number of co-publishing projects on the go and set for release in 2015 under our studio’s imprint ‘Platinum Print Editions’, I am always interested in viewing portfolios of platinum prints by different artists, not only to see how they look in person but also how they are presented. For me a portfolio of platinum prints is an ideal way to view and own a coherent set of an artist work. They can either be framed or viewed without obstruction of glass in ones hands, my preferred way of viewing platinum prints.
A few weeks ago I visited the V&A to view a set of platinum prints by Anderson & Low that recently had been acquired by the museum. I have been following their work ever since I was drawn to their large scale architectural imagery at ‘The Photographer’s Gallery’ in London some 10 years ago.
Both Jonathan Anderson and Edwin Low have been collaborating since 1990 and their work includes portraiture, architectural studies, abstract images, reportage, nudes, and landscape and is noted for attention to concept, form, lighting, and printing. They are exceptional image makers and their work has been exhibited world-wide, residing in many public and private collections including: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, National Portrait Galleries.
The portfolio of images I viewed at the museum were drawn from two projects, “Athletes’ and ‘Gymnasts’ which were photographed between 1998 and 2001 at locations around the world. The images were specifically selected, as the introductory text notes ‘for the enhanced qualities platinum palladium printing brings to them’ The prints vary is size however are all printed on 20×24 sheets of watercolour paper, which looked and felt like Arches Platine. These were all presented in fine moiré silk covered solander box.
Below are some images of the set : (click for larger view)
The prints were created by master printer Sal Lopes in an edition of 12. With a dmax of around 1.45 they are everything great platinum prints should be with a rich, wide and subtle tonal range and a three dimensional depth to them. Personally the print of the fencer’s face is a sight to behold and worth a visit to the V&A to just to see that. The prints have a charcoal type feel and texture to them, quite reminiscent of Irving Penn’s platinum prints.
Sal inspired my good friend Stan Klimek 20 years ago to start platinum printing when he viewed some of the platinum prints he created for Horst and other renowned artists. Stan, as regular blog readers will know, was the printer who inspired me to print with platinum over 10 years ago, which those new to the blog can read about here.
Sal was also involved in creating a set of platinum prints to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Aperture foundation. The platinum portfolio featured seminal work of five masters of photography, each uniquely linked to Aperture’s history. I viewed a set last year at Paris Photo and the prints were exquisite. The portfolio was packaged in a cloth-covered solander box and was accompanied by four text panels featuring the writings of fellow founders Nancy and Beaumont Newhall together with five platinum/palladium prints as shown below. Now unavailable it was printed in edition of 100.
For further in information on
Anderson & Low visit : www.andersonandlow.com
Sal Lopes : http://lopesphotographs.com
Aperture foundation : http://www.aperture.org/
Stan Klimek : http://stanklimekstudio.com/
Platinum Print Editions : www.platinumprinteditions.com