The materiality of light and the colours of the air
“Colours of the air” are what Guido Baselgia (*1953) calls his latest works. He has been active for several decades, but these are his first-ever colour photographs. Using a mobile camera obscura, Baselgia has captured fascinating images such as the colours of our blue planet’s sky that become visible through the refraction of light in the camera obscura. These images were made in northern Norway and on the Piz Languard near Pontresina.
Taking this colourful group of works as its starting point, our exhibition brings together selected works from all of Baselgia’s work periods since the 1980s. It opens with his little-known series on Galicia in what is now western Ukraine. In the context of the ongoing war there, these images of the disintegrating Soviet Union assume a painful, new topicality.
In Baselgia’s more recent works, nature and the materiality of light draw more into his focus. Near the glaciers of Canton Grisons, he has created images with unimagined patterns and shades of grey. Baselgia is fascinated by the elemental world of nature, and has travelled to the far north, into deserts and to the Amazon region of South America. Ultimately, the course of the sun and the stars became his globally unifying theme of light. He has enjoyed a close collaboration with the Kunsthaus Zug for several years now.
Baselgia’s photographs of light have a painterly, graphic quality about them and bear witness to his lifelong exploration of the world. His is a search for ever-new beginnings. His passion for unknown images refers back to a search for the beginnings of photography itself – for its magic as an unadulterated, natural image made of the materiality of light and the colours of the air.
In tandem with this exhibition, an artist’s book will be published by Hatje Cantz, Berlin, on Baselgia’s early black-and-white images of Galicia and his new colour nature photographs using the camera obscura. Design: Peter Zimmermann, text: Matthias Haldemann
Curated by Matthias Haldemann