Land Sea Colour is a solo exhibition by Dutch artist, Jan Dibbets, examining his focus on Land-Sea horizons and Colour Studies. Running until 20 April at the Alan Cristea Gallery, London, the show exposes Dibbets role as a pioneer of conceptualism in the 1960s. As one of the first to question the traditional perceptions of the photographic image, his work seeks to deconstruct the role of the camera as simply a mechanical tool whose primary function is to capture three-dimensional images to be printed onto a two-dimensional surface.
Dibbets approaches photography from an artistic angle, perceiving it as a versatile and complex medium which can be manipulated to create abstraction, figuration and directly challenge the ideas surrounding how pictorial space is portrayed and viewed. His early work utilised multiple fragments of images of land and seascapes, which he then collaged together to produce new illusory horizons. This unique subject remains at the heart of the majority of his work and the exhibition at the Alan Cristea Gallery will exhibit one of these early pieces of work in the UK for the first time outside of a museum.
There will also be more recent work on display, including two portfolios of photographs in which, by tilting his camera a few degrees at a time to create an incline, Dibbets presents images of land and sea pitched at different horizon levels, from 0 degrees to 135 degrees. In taking photos in such a way, he emphasises the role of the horizon as both the structuring principle of the photograph and as a subjective element, vulnerable to manipulation by the artist. These will be accompanied by an entirely new body of work entitled Land-Sea Horizons, a series of photo-collages, each of which juxtaposes a land and a sea horizon, morphing them into a single image.
Jan Dibbets: Land Sea Colour, until 20 April, Alan Cristea Gallery, 31 & 34 Cork Street, London, W1S 3NU.
1. Little Comet 9° – 81°, Sky·Sea·Sky, 1973 Colour photographs in nine plexi boxes Overall 236.5 x 153.5 cm © Jan Dibbets. Courtesy the artist and Alan Cristea Gallery, London.
2. Land 135°, 2009 From a series of ten photographs taken in 1972 and printed in 2009 on Fujicolor Crystal Archive Matt paper, contained within a portfolio designed by the artist. Paper and Image 60.0 x 60.0 cm (each photograph) Portfolio 64.0 x 64.0 cm Edition of 25 © Jan Dibbets. Courtesy the artist and Alan Cristea Gallery.