Lisa Oppenheim

  • Smoke

    2013
    Two-channel video installation, looped
    Dimensions variable
    Courtesy of the artist and The Approach, London

    Lisa Oppenheim began this work by downloading images of volcanic eruptions and industrial pollution from an amateur stock-video site. She output the videos to 35mm motion picture film and used the negatives to make prints that she then scanned to make her video, Smoke. Oppenheim also exposed her photographic prints using the light of an open flame. This process creates a dramatic solarized effect: light and dark are reversed, thereby linking the subject matter of the photograph with the process of its making.

  • Smoke

    2013
    Two-channel video installation, looped (video excerpt)
    Dimensions variable
    Courtesy of the artist and The Approach, London

    Lisa Oppenheim began this work by downloading images of volcanic eruptions and industrial pollution from an amateur stock-video site. She output the videos to 35mm motion picture film and used the negatives to make prints that she then scanned to make her video, Smoke. Oppenheim also exposed her photographic prints using the light of an open flame. This process creates a dramatic solarized effect: light and dark are reversed, thereby linking the subject matter of the photograph with the process of its making.

  • Smoke

    2013
    Video still
    Dimensions variable
    Courtesy of the artist and The Approach, London

    Lisa Oppenheim began this work by downloading images of volcanic eruptions and industrial pollution from an amateur stock-video site. She output the videos to 35mm motion picture film and used the negatives to make prints that she then scanned to make her video, Smoke. Oppenheim also exposed her photographic prints using the light of an open flame. This process creates a dramatic solarized effect: light and dark are reversed, thereby linking the subject matter of the photograph with the process of its making.

  • Smoke

    2013
    Video still
    Dimensions variable
    Courtesy of the artist and The Approach, London

    Lisa Oppenheim began this work by downloading images of volcanic eruptions and industrial pollution from an amateur stock-video site. She output the videos to 35mm motion picture film and used the negatives to make prints that she then scanned to make her video, Smoke. Oppenheim also exposed her photographic prints using the light of an open flame. This process creates a dramatic solarized effect: light and dark are reversed, thereby linking the subject matter of the photograph with the process of its making.

  • Smoke

    2013
    Two-channel video installation, looped
    Dimensions variable
    Courtesy of the artist and The Approach, London

    Lisa Oppenheim began this work by downloading images of volcanic eruptions and industrial pollution from an amateur stock-video site. She output the videos to 35mm motion picture film and used the negatives to make prints that she then scanned to make her video, Smoke. Oppenheim also exposed her photographic prints using the light of an open flame. This process creates a dramatic solarized effect: light and dark are reversed, thereby linking the subject matter of the photograph with the process of its making.

  • Man holding large camera photographing a cataclysmic event, possibly a volcano erupting. 1908/2012. (Version VIII)

    2012
    Gelatin silver print, exposed and solarized by fire light
    83.5 x 100.5 cm

  • Calendar, 1819-1874

    2013
    Gelatin silver prints, exposed and solarized by fire light, and toned photograms
    128,5 x 146.5 cm

  • Installation view, New Photography

    2013
    Museum of Modern Art, New York

  • Landscape Portraits (Some North American Trees)

    2014
    Gelatin silver prints, wood frames
    101.6 x 76.2 cm each
    Courtesy of the artist and The Approach, London

    To create this series of photographs, Lisa Oppenheim used very thin slices of wood from different North American trees as photographic negatives. She placed the wood directly on gelatin silver paper and filtered light through the woodgrain to create the images. The frames were constructed using the two types of wood depicted in each image. Through this approach, Oppenheim explores the relationship between what a photograph represents, its source materials and the process that transforms it into an art object.

  • Landscape Portraits (Some North American Trees), (detail)

    2014
    Gelatin silver prints, wood frames
    101.6 x 76.2 cm each
    Courtesy of the artist and The Approach, London

    To create this series of photographs, Lisa Oppenheim used very thin slices of wood from different North American trees as photographic negatives. She placed the wood directly on gelatin silver paper and filtered light through the woodgrain to create the images. The frames were constructed using the two types of wood depicted in each image. Through this approach, Oppenheim explores the relationship between what a photograph represents, its source materials and the process that transforms it into an art object.

  • Landscape Portraits (Some North American Trees), (detail)

    2014
    Gelatin silver prints, wood frames
    101.6 x 76.2 cm each
    Courtesy of the artist and The Approach, London

    To create this series of photographs, Lisa Oppenheim used very thin slices of wood from different North American trees as photographic negatives. She placed the wood directly on gelatin silver paper and filtered light through the woodgrain to create the images. The frames were constructed using the two types of wood depicted in each image. Through this approach, Oppenheim explores the relationship between what a photograph represents, its source materials and the process that transforms it into an art object.

  • Landscape Portraits (Some North American Trees), (detail)

    2014
    Gelatin silver prints, wood frames
    101.6 x 76.2 cm each
    Courtesy of the artist and The Approach, London

    To create this series of photographs, Lisa Oppenheim used very thin slices of wood from different North American trees as photographic negatives. She placed the wood directly on gelatin silver paper and filtered light through the woodgrain to create the images. The frames were constructed using the two types of wood depicted in each image. Through this approach, Oppenheim explores the relationship between what a photograph represents, its source materials and the process that transforms it into an art object.

  • Landscape Portraits (Some North American Trees), (detail)

    2014
    Gelatin silver prints, wood frames
    101.6 x 76.2 cm each
    Courtesy of the artist and The Approach, London

    To create this series of photographs, Lisa Oppenheim used very thin slices of wood from different North American trees as photographic negatives. She placed the wood directly on gelatin silver paper and filtered light through the woodgrain to create the images. The frames were constructed using the two types of wood depicted in each image. Through this approach, Oppenheim explores the relationship between what a photograph represents, its source materials and the process that transforms it into an art object.

  • Landscape Portraits (Some North American Trees), (detail)

    2014
    Gelatin silver prints, wood frames
    101.6 x 76.2 cm each
    Courtesy of the artist and The Approach, London

    To create this series of photographs, Lisa Oppenheim used very thin slices of wood from different North American trees as photographic negatives. She placed the wood directly on gelatin silver paper and filtered light through the woodgrain to create the images. The frames were constructed using the two types of wood depicted in each image. Through this approach, Oppenheim explores the relationship between what a photograph represents, its source materials and the process that transforms it into an art object.

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About Lisa Oppenheim

“I want the viewer to ask, ‘What am I looking at? How is it made?’ Somehow, that provides a way of critically reading how images come to all of us through our daily lives.”

Lisa Oppenheim, who lives and works in New York, creates photographs and videos that connect historical imagery and techniques with the present moment. Her process often begins with online research, to source images that she reinterprets using old and new technologies. Oppenheim also employs unusual materials as negatives – fabric, lace, slices of wood – directly recording the objects’ specific textures to create near-abstract compositions. Through her experiments with analog darkroom and digital methods, Oppenheim gives photographic images new forms and new contexts, inviting us to question and to wonder.


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