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Deichtorhallen Hamburg : Kehrer Verlag : Ralph Gibson : Secret of Light


This wide-ranging exhibition by the photographer Ralph Gibson (*1939) presents the development of his work from the 1960s to the present day based on selected series.The exhibition is being developed in a direct collaboration between the artist and the curator, Dr. Sabine Schnakenberg, and is composed of some 300 analogue and digital works in black and white and color from the artist’s private collection as well as works that the collector F.C. Gundlach acquired during his collaboration with Ralph Gibson in the early 1980s for his private photography collection, which is now on permanent loan to the House of Photography at the Deichtorhallen.

Ralph Gibson is one of the most interesting American photographers of our time. His international renown is based on his exceptional work, which is shown and collected by some of the world’s leading museums, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the J.P. Getty Museum in Los Angeles, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the Creative Center for Photography in Tucson, the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris, the Biblio- thèque Nationale de France in Paris, and the Fotomuseum Winterthur in Switzerland.

Gibson’s works, which he has created since the early 1960s, completely contradict the conventional purpose of the medium of photography: the meticulous depiction of so-called reality. Gibson is not interested in photographic documentation, and instead understands photography as an aesthetic endeavor. A leitmotif of his work comes from the original meaning of the word “photography”: drawing with light. Gibson needs light not only as a material prerequisite for creating each of his photographs; light itself becomes an object of investigation and a creative tool. Playing with its counterpart, shadow, is just as important. Gibson thus elevates light itself to become a theme of his oeuvre.


Ralph Gibson: Secret of Light
April 21 – August 20, 2023
Deichtorhallen Hamburg
Deichtorstraße 1
20095 Hamburg, Germany


New publication 2023
Ralph Gibson: Secret of Light
Published by Kehrer Verlag
Edited by Sabine Schnakenberg, Haus der Photographie /
Deichtorhallen Hamburg
Texts by Matthias Harder, Viktor Hois, Dirk Luckow, Gilles Mora, Sabine Schnakenberg
Designed by Kehrer Design (Benjamin Wolbergs)
Hardcover, 24 x 32 cm
240 pages
120 b/w and 36 color ills.
English / German
ISBN 978-3-96900-104-2
Euro 49,90 / US$ 58.00

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