Hamiltons Gallery is pleased to present the first exhibition of Venice in Solitude, a new series by the photographer Christopher Thomas. With these captivating, atmospheric images, Christopher brings to Venice his unique style of city portraiture, originally established with New York Sleeps (2009) and Münchner Elegien (Munich Elegies, 2001–2005). He transports us to a silent city, devoid of human presence, which could remind us of photographs from the 19th century, when the photographic image was not fast enough to capture the quickening pace of human activity. The exhibition includes classical views of the Canal Grande, the Doge’s Palace, St. Mark’s Square, Rialto Bridge and others.
At the crack of dawn, just before dusk falls, or at night by the light of the moon, Christopher would set off through the sestiere – the various districts of Venice – with his heavy equipment comprising a large-format camera, a selection of lenses, a tripod, a dark velvet cloth and many boxes of Polaroid Type 55 film. Armed with a compass, azimuth and sun chart, pen and notebook he would select the view he wanted to photograph. The photographic material he uses – most of which is no longer produced today – ensures that the images are rich in detail. Thomas’ own eye, sensitivity and technical skill enabled pictures to emerge that return the city to its historical roots, with a sense of mystery.
“In our fast-moving times in which one is confronted with a barrage of incessant communication and a flood of images, Christopher’s contemplative pictures are an invitation to pause a while and dream. The viewer has a feeling of timelessness evoked by the long exposure times that do not capture any momentary movement.” (Ira Stehmann, Editor)
“It is an attempt to recover the serenity of Venice found in pictures from the 19th century and to release the city from mass tourism.” (Christopher Thomas)
Prestel Publishers is releasing a new book, Christopher Thomas: Venice in Solitude, with 75 images and text by the renowned poet Albert Ostermaier, at the same time as this exhibition.
Christopher Thomas, born in 1961 in Munich, graduated from the Bavarian State Teaching Institute for Photography. His photojournalism for Geo, Stern, Süddeutsche Zeitung Magazin, Merian, and other magazines have received many international prizes. New York Sleeps: Photographs by Christopher Thomas, was published in 2009 by Prestel and shortly thereafter he received the Deutscher Fotobuchpreis. An extensive selection of his images from the famous Oberammergau Passion Play (also published as a book by Prestel), were recently on view in the Bavarian National Museum. Christopher lives in Munich.