Thursday, 13 June 2013

Karl Blossfeldt

Also on show at the Whitechapel were the amazing photographic plant studies of Karl Blossfeldt (1865-1932). I have used his images before as references and inspiration for the plants in my linocutprints, but it was good to see the original photographic prints in the gallery upstairs. They really complement the work of Uwe and Gert Tobias.

The magnification and detail captured in Blossfeldts' images had not been seen before, and one can see how they have inspired creatives and botanists since the time when they were first published, which I believe was 1928.

It interesting to see the structure and patterns in nature in such detail, and I believe Blossfeldt's images were a definate influence on Robert Mapplethorpes' photographic studies of plants and flowers.

Some of the plants such as those above, look like architectural structures, others look like African Masks or carvings, and yet others look like the sculptural fashion designs of Issey Miyake and Balenciaga. 

Looking at the detail you realise that nobody does design like Nature. These really are some of the most beautiful photographs ever taken.