April 7, 2019

Vadav Kander @ Flowers Gallery, NYC - Dark Line - The Thames Estuary

Nadav Kander: Dark Line - The Thames Estuary
Flowers Gallery, New York
April 4 - June 15, 2019

Nadav Kander
NADAV KANDER
Water III, Part 1, 2 & 3, (Shoeburyness towards The Isle of Grain), 2015
© Nadav Kander, courtesy of Flowers Gallery, London and New York

British photographer  NADAV KANDER is best known for Yangtze - The Long River, for which he earned the prestigious Prix Pictet award in 2009. In 2015, Nadav Kander began journeying to the Thames Estuary, to photograph the point of transition between the River Thames and the sea, creating atmospheric images of its slow-moving dark waters and seemingly infinite horizons.

On view for the first time in the United States, the works in this exhibition mark a shift towards the use of new image formats and an expanded use of media. Alongside the photographs are column-like steel water tanks, containing submerged objects extracted from the river, and a video installation The Edge of the Stream, with music specially commissioned by German-British composer Max Richter.

The elongated vertical photographic format recalls Chinese Shan Shui scroll painting, reflecting the abiding influence of Far Eastern aesthetics. Presented low to the ground, and with bodily proportions, they evoke a sense of weightlessness, inviting the viewer to ‘step off’ into the image.

Nadav Kander
NADAV KANDER
Horizons I, (Coalhouse Fort towards St Mary Hoo), England, 2015
© Nadav Kander, courtesy of Flowers Gallery, London and New York

Nadav Kander
NADAV KANDER
Water XI,(Mucking towards Stanford Le Hope), England, 2017
© Nadav Kander, courtesy of Flowers Gallery, London and New York

Showing the Thames as sparse and monochromatic, with immeasurable distances disappearing into fog or bleeding into darkness, Nadav Kander discovered a marriage between subject, medium and metaphor that intimately reflected the nature of his inner experience. Nadav Kander’s increasingly abstracted photographs describe the landscape through minimal compositions, with a painterly layering of tones that appear to stain or bleed through the photographic surface. In these riverscapes, distant horizons are broken by disused artillery forts and dramatic, cathedral-like power stations and docks. Drawn to a sense of concealment within this environment, Nadav Kander’s photographs are shaped by the psychogeography of the estuary, echoing the shrouded histories embedded in the silt of the river and its turbulent waters.

Alongside the photographs are column-like steel water tanks, containing submerged objects extracted from the river, and a video installation The Edge of the Stream, with music specially commissioned by German-British composer Max Richter. The video, projected on suspended sheets, shows Kander slowly immersing and rising from a tidal ebb and flow of water, evoking a melancholic internal landscape of grief and longing.

In the production of Dark Line, Nadav Kander’s slower method of working has mirrored the pace of the river, developing a reductive abstract language to replace the ultra-realism of photography. 
Nadav Kander says: “Today’s popular imagery is in some ways replacing language. People speak of their ‘snapchat story’ and emojis replace longer writing forms describing emotion. I wish to make work that does not literally describe what is in front of me. I do not wish to focus my lens and capture a millisecond of realistic information. I am moving away from common perceptions that photographs are the result of a lens that ‘focuses sharply’ on what is in front of it.” 
Nadav Kander has been announced the recipient of the 2019 Outstanding Contribution to Photography award at the Sony World Photography Awards. Nadav Kander will be honored at a London awards’ ceremony on April 17 for his versatility and significant impact on the medium of photography. The Awards will also celebrate the artist with a substantial presentation of his work at the 2019 Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition, running April 18- May 6 at Somerset House, London.

ABOUT NADAV KANDER

Nadav Kander (b. 1961) lives and works in London. Selected past projects include Yangtze – The Long River, winner of the Prix Pictet award in 2009; Dust, which explored the vestiges of the Cold War through the radioactive ruins of secret cities on the border between Kazakhstan and Russia; Bodies 6 Women, 1 Man; and Obama’s People, an acclaimed 52 portrait series commissioned by the New York Times Magazine. Nadav Kander’s work is housed in several public collections including National Portrait Gallery, London, UK; Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, USA; Marta Herford Museum, Germany; Sheldon Museum, Lincoln, USA; The Frank-Suss Collection, London, New York and Hong Kong; and Statoil Collection, Norway. He has exhibited internationally at venues including Weserburg Museum, Germany; Musée de L’Elysée, Lausanne, Switzerland; Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego, USA; Museum of Applied Arts, Cologne, Germany; The Barbican Centre, London, UK; The Photographers’ Gallery, London, UK; Somerset House, London, UK; Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France; and Herzliya Museum of Contemporary Art, Israel. Recent fellowships and awards include an Honorary Fellowship Award from the Royal Photographic society.

FLOWERS GALLERY
529 West 20th Street, New York NY 10011
www.flowersgallery.com