Elger Esser

    November 19, 2017 - February 28, 2018

    From 19 November 2017 to 28 February 2018, the works of seven photographers, each expressing their unique viewpoints on landscape and nature, will be presented across more than 2000 square metres of exhibition space in the Château itself and its Farmyard.

    Domaine de Chaumont-sur-Loire will also be hosting France’s first major exhibition devoted to Elger Esser, one of the Düsseldorf School’s prominent photographers.

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    March 29, 2017 - May 21, 2017
    Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art
    14 Wharf Road
    London N1 7RW

    Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art is delighted to present an exhibition of photographic works by German artist Elger Esser. This exhibition, his first solo show in a public institution in the United Kingdom, focuses on a new series of works, entitled Morgenland, created during his travels in the Eastern countries of Lebanon, Egypt and Israel from 2004 to 2015.

    Shown for the first time at Parasol unit, the Morgenland (morning land) series refers to the concept of the Orient or the East. Rather than reflecting a negative stereotypical 'Orientalism' with its links to cultural colonialism, as discussed by Edward Said in his 1978 seminal book on the subject, Esser's depictions of the Near East aim to convey a sense of reconciliation amidst regional differences and historical issues.

    Travelling along the Lebanese shore in 2004 and the Nile between Luxor and Aswan in 2011, Esser photographed the banks of rivers, traditional feluccas and dahabiya sailing vessels, using an 8 x 10 Land camera. Captured from a great distance, Esser's calm awe-inspiring landscapes, somewhat reminiscent of the romantic images of faraway lands on old postcards, seem to convey a sense of the infinite. Their quiet and serene beauty, however, is disturbing because it is in such stark contrast to what we know of the ugly conflicts taking place in the region today and how they are generally portrayed in the media.

    During a visit to Israel in 2015, Esser created a series of works based on some archival photographs taken by an unknown photographer who had documented the existence of ruins in Israel/Palestine during 1948. With his series, Esser aims to present a timeline of conflicts, dating from the Byzantine period to recent times, showing the development and decay of cultural periods. Landscapes are seen as stratifications, layers upon layers of different cultures. The work One Sky, 2015, shows two panoramas printed back-to-back on a silver-coated copper plate. One side displays a view as seen from Lebanon, while the other side presents the same view as seen from Israel. Although both scenes are so similar they appear to be the same, they present us with a single location as seen from opposite perspectives.

    Nature and the landscape are central themes throughout Elger Esser's photographic oeuvre. Often in muted, sepia or monochromatic colours, his works have a stillness about them that evokes a sense of the sublime. Esser's large-format photographs typically depict European lowlands with his characteristic low horizon lines, pale luminous colours and vast skies, beaches, wetlands or seas. His skilful use of traditional processes, such as photogravure printing, gives his images an intense sharpness, depth and luminosity. Inspired by the literary works of Gustave Flaubert, Marcel Proust and Guy de Maupassant, paintings of the Romantic period, and early nineteenth-century photography, Elger Esser's works originate from the travels he has undertaken since 1996, across France, Italy, Spain, Scotland, Ireland, the Netherlands, the USA, and Australia.

    This exhibition, curated by Ziba Ardalan, is accompanied by a full programme of educational events aimed at engaging the public.

    For more information: http://parasol-unit.org/upcoming-exhibitions

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  • Aestas
    January 28, 2017 - April 23, 2017
    Landesgalerie Linz
    Museumstraße 14
    4010 Linz, Austria

    The Landesgalerie Linz presents the first solo museum exhibition dedicated to the photographic work of Elger Esser in Austria. The central theme of his extensive work - the landscape - is at the center of the show. Through the use of classical compositions and historical phototechnics, the graduate of the Fotoklasse led by Bernd and Hilla Becher at the Düsseldorf Academy of Fine Arts follows the tradition of baroque landscape painting and historical photography of the late 19th century.



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  • Oskar Schlemmer State Prize
    February 20, 2016 - July 10, 2016

    In 2016, the state of Baden-Württemberg’s major prize for the visual arts, the Oskar Schlemmer State Prize will be awarded to the Stuttgart-born artist Elger Esser. To mark the occasion, the Kunsthalle is showing an exhibition with various series of his large-format photographic works. Over the last twenty years, Esser has amassed an extensive oeuvre, in which he defies the logic of the development of the medium: the artist still places his trust in predigital photographic techniques and references the historical techniques of the Pictorialists and traditional visual tropes from European landscape painting. Esser completed a Master’s under Prof. Bernd Becher at the Düsseldorf Academy of the Arts,and from 2006–2009 was Professor of Photography at Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design. The Düsseldorf-based artist regularly exhibits internationally, and his works are represented in numerous important museums.


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  • Oskar-Schlemmer-Prize 2016
    August 21, 2015 - August 21, 2015

    Elger Esser will be honoured with the 2016 Great State Prize for Visual Arts of Baden-Württemberg, Germany, which is named after Oskar Schlemmer. The award will be presented to Elger Esser in 2016 at the Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe, Germany.

    With this award we put a strong emphasis in the promotion of contemporary art and to honor an artist who brings the boundary between photography and painting to flow. (Secretary of state Jürgen Walter)

    The Oskar-Schlemmer-prize honors artists with a regional affiliation who give fresh impetus to contemporary art and who have already found international recognition.




    Photo: Nicolas Cattelain

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  • Photographing Monet's Gardens: Five Contemporary Views
    July 31, 2015 - November 1, 2015
    Musée des impressionnismes Giverny, Giverny, France

    Elger Esser will participate in the exhibition Photographing Monet's Gardens: Five Contemporary Views. Presented at the Musée des impressionnismes Giverny this exhibition offers an unprecedented look at Claude Monet’s garden in Giverny through the works of five internationally renowned contemporary photographers. A source of inspiration, the garden became a space of experimentation for these artists, and their photographs invite viewers to reconsider our individual perception of time. Sensitive and precise in his observation, Esser seeked in this surrounding those moments which reveal the essential character and mood of the landscape.

    For further information please visit the museum's official website here

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  • Movie : Square
    March 9, 2013 - March 24, 2013

    Please watch the documentary about artist Elger Esser and his beautiful work on the German/French TV channel Arte:


    09.03. at 5:45
    10.03. at 11:50
    16.03. at 5:45
    17.03. at 11:45
    23.03. at 5:40
    24.03. at 11:45

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    February 24, 2013 - April 27, 2013
    Opening: Saturday, February 23, 7 PM
    Atelier und Galeriehaus Defet
    Gustav Adolf Strasse 33
    90439 Nürnberg

    Under the title Méséglise Elger Esser shows new heliogravures inspired by Marcel Prousts famous novel "Remembrance of Things Past". In Prousts novel, Méséglise (my churches) is the name of a walking route from Illiers to Méréglise.

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  • IN LIGHT OF THE INFINITE - Romanticism and the Present
    December 16, 2012 - February 24, 2013

    Monumental mountain summits, infinitely wide oceans, magical nights under a full moon – all of these belong to the Romantic period’s repertoire of imagery, deeply embedded in our visual memory. In response to the rationality of the age of Enlightenment, landscapes became mirrors of the soul. Fairy-tales, dreams, and journeys to unbeknown worlds unlocked new spheres of human experience. Romanticism meant the discovery of the sensual and the emotional, of beauty and the sublime.

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    July 7, 2012 - September 30, 2012
    Schloss, Schlossplatz 1, 26122 Oldenburg (D)

    Elger Esser is one of the great romantic photographers of our time. Since his studies at the Düsseldorf Academy of Art in the class of Bernd and Hilla Becher he was always interested in classical genres of vedute and landscapes. Most of his beautiful calm landscape motives Elger Esser found during his journeys to France, Italy and Egypt.

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