Hiroshi Sugimoto plays with fire in the presence of flammable chemicals. At "Lightning Fields," the photographer's process recalls Benjamin Franklin's kite-flying, as he uses a volt generator to fry negative plates and see what happens when they're developed. The results are spidery, white-hot bolts that crawl across inky backgrounds like neon millipedes. Spiky rivers, incandescent clouds, and spectral mists all appear on Sugimoto's enormous prints, mysterious yet scientific. A companion set of images show never-before-seen prints made from the negatives of Henry Fox Talbot, the man the artist calls the "father of calotype photography;" in non-photog-speak, the inventor of the negative-postitive thing.
Sept. 10-Oct. 31, 2009