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Big Picture 

Wednesday, Jul 4 2007
If Ansel Adams' black-and-white landscape photos ever seem like "just a picture of a dead stick" to you, steel yourself before seeing the work of Japanese photographer Hirosho Sugimoto. Sugimoto takes pictures of the ocean. Just the ocean, and the sky. At first glance, his series Seascapes can look like ultra-abstractionist Mark Rothko's half-and-half paintings. This is the same guy who took color pictures of shadows in white rooms, too. At the major retrospective "Hiroshi Sugimoto," the artist has the space and control to show exactly why such minimalist gestures work, and why he's one of Japan's major contemporary artists. The huge scale of the work (from Seascapes, Dioramas, Movie Theaters, Portraits, and more) shows off the all-seeing eye of the large-format camera, and Sugimoto himself designed the installation, with its lighted frames and special curved wall. One hundred and twenty photos strong, the exhibit promises to demonstrate -- dramatically -- why, like Adams', Sugimoto's pictures are far from "just" anything.
July 7-Sept. 23, 2007

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Hiya Swanhuyser


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