Yossi Milo presents Fairies, German photographer Kathrin Linkersdorff’s debut solo exhibition in the United States and first with the gallery. The show will also exhibit video installations showcasing the artist’s process, offering a new perspective of how Linkersdorff’s exquisite photographs are made. The artist’s Fairies series uncovers the microcosmic vastness contained within flowers, and unearths worlds unknown to the naked eye.
At the heart of Linkersdorff’s practice is the concept of wabi-sabi: the view that ephemerality and imperfection are integral and even beautiful parts of life. The artist first encountered the principle during the 1990s upon relocating to Japan to study architecture. Traveling the country extensively, Linkersdorff began practicing Sumi-e, a traditional form of Japanese ink painting. While studying the art form, the artist accepted the beauty in impermanence, imperfection, and transience. Today, wabi-sabi is the lifeforce behind her photography practice, which she uses to depict the internal architecture of living organisms in their most fragile state – that between being and perishing. While flowers and bacteria form the subjects of Linkersdorff’s photographs, her practice is not a matter of mere depiction; rather, the organic becomes a visual metaphor for transience as a fundamental life process.
For her Fairies works, Linkersdorff collects and dries tulips over a period of several months. Using her own method—cultivated through years of careful experimentation and lively exchange with scientists—the artist extracts the flowers’ pigments, which she re-concentrates into a natural dye. The artist then submerges the dried, translucent flowers into a liquid medium where their petals unfurl. Suspended in fluid, their delicate structures can be observed at a level of intricacy normally hidden from the human eye. Often, Linkersdorff introduces her floral dyes into this very same medium where they diffuse in swirling, colorful tendrils. Building on her previous bodies of work with flowers, Fairies lays unique emphasis on process, showcasing the lyrical dance between the fragile form of each flower, and the natural flow of pigment through fluid space.
Alongside her photographs, video documentation of the artist’s process will be exhibited, offering a behind- the-scenes look into the creation of Linkersdorff’s surreal images. In these videos, natural dyes are seen sinking and swelling in sweeps of color, unraveling amongst the flower petals they once filled with life. These videos spotlight the drama of Linkersdorff’s practice, from the first drop of ink, to dynamic crescendos of color, to the final dim of the denouement.
Kathrin Linkersdorff : Fairies
On view through Saturday, October 21
Yossi Milo Gallery
245 10th Ave.
New York, NY 10001