Emanations: The Art of the Cameraless Photograph

Georgia O’Keeffe, 1947 Courtesy of the Len Lye Foundation Collection and Archive, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/Len Lye Centre
Len Lye’s cameraless photographs from 1930 to 1947 are the inspiration behind a new exhibition opening this month at the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/Len Lye Centre.

The exhibition, entitled Emanations: The Art of the Cameraless Photograph will be the most complete study of cameraless photography – a contact print in which something is made to touch a piece of light-sensitive film or paper and leave an impression – anywhere in the world to date, and will present more than 200 examples, from 1839, when photography’s invention was announced, through to contemporary artists.

The exhibition will also be the first time all 52 of Lye’s photograms have been seen together.

Len Lye
Marks and Spencer in a Japanese Garden (Pond People), 1930
Courtesy of the Len Lye Foundation Collection and Archive, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/Len Lye Centre

The exhibition has work by photographic pioneers William Henry Fox Talbot and Anna Atkins, important modernist photographers Man Ray and László Moholy-Nagy, and many of today’s most significant photographic artists including Walead Beshty, Marco Breuer, Liz Deschenes, Joan Fontcuberta, Christian Marclay, Thomas Ruff, and Hiroshi Sugimoto.


Len Lye
Le Corbusier, 1947
Courtesy of the Len Lye Foundation Collection and Archive, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/Len Lye Centre

Emanations also includes work by both senior and emerging Australian and New Zealand artists, from Anne Noble and Anne Ferran to Andrew Beck and Justine Varga.

Almost every photographic process is included in the exhibition – photogenic drawings, calotypes, daguerreotypes, and tintypes, as well as gelatin silver, chromogenic and ink-jet photographic prints, photocopies, verifax and thermal prints.

The exhibition runs from 29 Apr — 14 Aug. 


Justine Varga
Desklamp 2012
Courtesy of the artist and Stills Gallery, Sydney. 

Anne Noble
Bruissement
Bee Wing Photograms #10 2015
pigment print on Canson baryta paper
320 x 110 cm
Courtesy of the artist, Wellington

Lisa Clunie
Fold II 2014
silver gelatin print
Courtesy of the artist, Whangarei