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Bay of Sagami, Atami, 1997. Gelatin silver print © Hiroshi Sugimoto.

AMSTERDAM.- In the exhibition Hiroshi Sugimoto - Black Box, Foam presents an overview of the work of Japanese artist Hiroshi Sugimoto (b. 1948, Tokyo). The exhibition is divided into five sections devoted to the artist’s major series: Theaters (1976-ongoing); Lightning Fields (2006-ongoing); Dioramas (1976-2012); Portraits (1994-1999); and Seascapes (1980-ongoing). On display are a total of 34 large-format works, selected by guest curator Philip Larratt-Smith, that offer a survey of the artist’s last forty years of artistic activity. Given that some of the series are still ongoing, the exhibition also looks forward to future creations. 

Born in Tokyo in 1948, Hiroshi Sugimoto moved to the USA in 1970 to study photography. A multi-disciplinary artist, he works in sculpture, architecture, installation and photography and in the latter field is considered one of the most important creative figures working today. Sugimoto’s work is represented in international collections such as the MoMA and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Smithsonian in Washington, and the National Gallery and Tate Modern in London. 

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Catherine of Aragon, 1999. Gelatin silver print © Hiroshi Sugimoto.

A notably intellectual artist, Sugimoto’s work contains a highly meditated conceptual element that encourages the spectator towards philosophical reflection. The artist reinterprets some of the principal genres in the classic tradition of photography. Sugimoto is also a master craftsman and has rejected digital technology in favour of traditional methods. 

Finally, these images are characterised by great visual beauty and notable technical virtuosity, emphasised by his habitual use of large formats. Taken as a whole, Hiroshi Sugimoto’s work constitutes a profound meditation on the nature of perception, illusion, representation, life and death. 

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El Capitan, Hollywood, 1993. Gelatin silver print  © Hiroshi Sugimoto.

This exhibition was organised by Fundación MAPFRE in collaboration with Foam. 

In 2016 the exhibition catalogue Hiroshi Sugimoto - Black Box was published. With text by curator Philip Larratt-Smith and artist Iran do Espírito Santo. Published by Fundación MAPFRE and Aperture.

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Hyena-Jackal-Vulture, 1976. Gelatin silver print © Hiroshi Sugimoto