“Places of Rest”
Reinhard Ziegler has been making art, black and white photographs in particular, for over 30 years. He is best known for an ongoing exploration and style he refers to as “Kinetic States”. These images begin as black and white negatives, which are all taken from moving vehicles, photographed at a slow shutter speed. This technique produces an image that slightly blurs the subject and creates an atmospheric look and feel. Ziegler then painstakingly rubs pastels into the surface of the matte-surface photo paper, layer upon layer, transforming the photographic surface into something more painterly.
In these large-scale works (ranging from 4 x 4 to 4 x 8 feet) nothing is quite as it seems. Skies may evoke oceans, deserts conjure textured pebbles; scale and proximity are thrown into question. The specific, objective aspect of the typical photographic image shifts to something more universal and dream-like.
While most of Ziegler’s work has found its subject matter in landscapes or depictions of small town America, his latest series “Places of Rest”, starts with close-up photographs of ocean vessels and moves in the finished work to new level of abstraction in his art. These images are graphically bold and spatially ambiguous. In several pieces, what appears to be a dazzling sunset is actually water reflected on massive, brooding hulls. Diagonal slashes of light are actually taut mooring lines.
For Ziegler, the metaphor of vessels takes on special meaning in this series. He hopes that while contemplating his work, we all see ourselves as vessels, as containers…of life, of relationships, of grace, of beauty, of wonder.