Christophe Guye Galerie is pleased to announce the group exhibition ‘Abstractions’ at the gallery’s showroom. The exhibition presents seven artists who, using different conceptual approaches and unique techniques, transcend the limits of photography as a presumed image of reality.

The concept of abstraction tends to cause disagreement and has done so for many years. What does it mean? How is it art? Abstraction isn’t a style or movement; it can exist in all art to a certain degree. Various encyclopaedias define abstraction as ‘freedom from representational qualities in art’ and ‘not depicting things’. The Tate describes it as follows: ‘Abstract art is art that does not attempt to represent an accurate depiction of a visual reality but instead use shapes, colours, forms and gestural marks to achieve its effect.’

It’s more about how the beauty of shapes and colours can override representational accuracy. Abstraction is a ‘continuum’. Many art movements have been influenced by and employ abstract principles to a varying extent.

If we look at abstraction in the context of photography, we can say that abstract photography challenges our popular view of photography as an objective image of reality by reasserting its constructed nature. Although the camera remains a perfect perspectivist tool, capable of copying reality in its slightest detail, it has long been recognized for its ability to emancipate itself from mere reproduction in order to detach itself from reality and produce mental images.

In all of the exhibited works, it is not just ‘what’ one sees but also ‘how’ one sees that is important. The exhibition leads through various practices that break up and question habits of seeing. From psychedelic colour experiments to constructed realities, from unusual perspectives to visual worlds that dissolve the boundaries between photography and painting, from invisible portraits of refugees to attempts of capturing the ephemeral. All these artists break away from realism with their works and demonstrate the ability of photography to suggest something other than itself, to serve as a conduit for visual metaphors and personal expression.

Artists: Stephen Gill, Noritoshi Hirakawa, Seba Kurtis, Brigitte Lustenberger, Risaku Suzuki, Kazuna Taguchi, Wataru Yamamoto.