Art: Field Guide

Jochen Lempert, the German photographer whose first major U.S. museum show, Field Guide, is now at the Cincinnati Art Museum, combines the metaphysical with the biological so well that the effect is often magical.

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click to enlarge “Untitled (Antelope)” by Jochen Lempert
“Untitled (Antelope)” by Jochen Lempert

Jochen Lempert, the German photographer whose first major U.S. museum show, Field Guide, is now at the Cincinnati Art Museum, combines the metaphysical with the biological so well that the effect is often magical.

Or, I should say, the effect is downright scientific. He’d appreciate that latter term — he’s a trained biologist who turned to art photography in the 1990s. Yet much of his work achieves magic by making something ephemeral concrete and vice versa.

This is a show to spend some time with, because the way individual images affect the viewer often depends on the size and placement of the black-and-white prints. And the impact upon our cognitive process of seeing, in close proximity to each other, close-ups of sand (“Etruscan Sand,” a 2009 photogram), “Rain” (a 2003 photograph) and “Crushed Shells” (a 2013 photogram) teaches us as much about ourselves as photography. Read more about the exhibit here.


Jochen Lempert’s Field Guide is on display at the CAM until March 6. More info: cincinnatiartmuseum.org.



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