in camera gallery presents in partnership with Howard Greenberg Gallery a set of photographs of Yumiko and Kenro Izu.
In about fifteen platinum-palladium prints, Yumiko and Kenro Izu, both born in Osaka (Japan), translate the impermanence of the world into a disturbing face-to-face of flowers, nudes, fruits and birds’ nests.
Even though they live together in Rhinebeck, in upstate New York, Yumiko and Kenro Izu have their homeland, Japan, in mind. This memory is at work in their oeuvre, of exacting precision, as if they wanted to usefully share the ultimate secrets of a world whose impermanence they know. Hence their attachment to these still lifes to which they give back life with photography, flowers, fruits, birds’ nest and skulls of animals observed closely, almost under a microscope.
It was also one of the dreams of Kenro Izu (born in 1949 in Osaka), to be a doctor, and one remembers his solicitude, including for stones thousand years old, during his exhibition at the gallery, in 2012, with his series Sacred Places.
Today, always anxious to “find beauty in every moment, every stage of life,” he exhibits his flowers, arums, sunflowers or tulips, some Cézanne fruit, or very well behaved nudes. No place for chance or improvisation, the composition is very orderly. Everything corresponds to his desire, exactly. He has such authority on his subject that nothing can move without his consent, even the pear seems to toe the line. And lets not talk about flowers or nudes that seem to stretch or snuggle on command, as subjugated by the voice of the photographer. We feel that he reassures them, we even hear their breathing, and the breath of the wind. There is a sensation of delight, literally, as if he wanted to go through time, forget everything, never come back. And then he’s back, sure of him, and collected, as if he had been freed from the past.
Yumiko Izu, born in 1968 in Osaka, is close to some of Kenro’s themes, flowers in particular. This proximity favors their difference, fortunately. It is not a question of interpretation, but of atmosphere, less closed, lighter, more transparent. As if summer never ended for Yumiko Izu. This does not prevent her, too, from introducing gravity, sensitive in her skulls of animals, where we perceive this face to face between her and the bones, between what is and what will remain, between infinity and continuity. Fugacity is a word that suits her well. And which look like the bird nests she finds near their home in the Hudson Highlands, built “in unimaginable places.” She marvels at these unexpected and fickle neighbors and at their witty homes. She stages them with pleasure, perhaps with some gratitude, in anticipation of the birds songs which enchant her, each new year, when appear the purple crocuses.
Brigitte Ollier, juillet 2018
For their photographs, Yumiko and Kenro Izu use a large-format camera. They make by contact, their own platinum-palladium prints.
Privileged by leading photographers, such as Mapplethorpe, Edward Weston, Irving Penn and before them Curtis, Stieglitz and Steichen, this process is now particularly popular with museum curators and collectors for its wide range of tonalities. the uniqueness it offers to each image, its exceptional stability, and its longevity.
The photographs of Yumiko and Kenro Izu are present in many collections.
Yumiko Izu & Kenro Izu
In partnership with Howard Greenberg Gallery
September 20 – November 24, 2018
in camera gallery
21 Las Cases Street