Galerie Miranda is delighted to announce the second European solo exhibition by artist Terri Weifenbach (b. 1957, USA), entitled Air and Dreams.
For over thirty years, Terri Weifenbach has built a dense photographic opus that studies different aspects of the natural world - gardens, insects, flowers, clouds, water, birds, forests - and their unobtrusive, daily interactions with humans. Rather than seek overt signs of a dramatically changed landscape, Weifenbach has always been drawn to quieter subjects, the she explores through an immersive approach. Through her more than 20 publications and 50 exhibitions Weifenbach has developed a precise and lyrical signature, often recognizeable by her mastery of the bokeh or sfumato play of blur and sharp within an image.
In recent years, new formal elements have appeared in Weifenbach's work: appearing alongside her signature 'bokeh' works are new, sharply-focused images - of scientific tools and urban vistas but also of monumental, age-old trees - that seem to signify a coming into focus of reality, like a sharpening of the senses with encroaching danger. An awakening, perhaps, and the end of dreams? For the exhibition title is borrowed from Gaston Bachelard's 1943 publication L'Air et les Songes: Essai sur l'imagination du mouvement (Air and Dreams: An Essay on the Imagination of Movement), a philosophical exploration of the notion of ascension, of lightness, of flight and of liberty. The tenth chapter of Air and Dreams, entitled The Aerial Tree, proposes that the dream is real life and that the plant world is responsive, dynamic.
Without a specific geographical identity, Terri Weifenbach's photographs presented at Galerie Miranda recount a collective space, of land and sky, sun and clouds, but also cities and town gardens. Her underlying philosophy is inspired by the great English historian Simon Schama, whose landmark book Landscape and Memory (1995) explored the myths, memories, and obsessions that underlie the Western world's interaction with nature. Like Schama, Terri Weifenbach is not an activist but a messenger, informing us and sharing her reverence for the natural world; reminding us of the great beauty that is in danger and that we must strive to preserve.
Born in 1957 in New York, Terri Weifenbach lived in New Mexico and California before settling in Washington DC. She now lives in Paris.
Originally trained in painting, Weifenbach first turned to color photography in 1992 after discovering the Ektar 25 camera film whose exceptional technical capacity responded to Weifenbach’s painterly sensibilities. In particular, the film allowed the artist to merge near and far on a single plane and to create rich fields of color with the chromatic and emotional impact of painting. Since then, her images have often been composed with a differential focus that blurs our reading of form and space: "By reversing traditional figure-ground relationships and introducing spatial complexity into her photographs, Weifenbach distorts cues that normally help us organize our experience of the visual field: distinctions between near and far, surface and depth, subject and background, macro and micro" (Sarah Kennel) - are we looking at droplets of water and rays of light, or clouds, or perhaps a photographic trick, an error?
The creation and design of books holds a major place in her photographic practice. Since the publication in 1997 of her first book In Your Dreams, she has designed twenty others including, among these recent publications, Between Maple and Chestnut and Gift, co-signed with the Japanese photographer Rinko Kawauchi. In 2019, she published in the Des Oiseaux collection, followed by Cloud Physics (2021) and the commissioned Giverny, une année au jardin (2022) all published by Atelier EXB. Her work is regularly presented in museums and international institutions in the United States, Europe and Japan as well as in various collections such as the Center for Creative Photography (Arizona), the Sprengel Museum (Hanover, Germany) and the Hermès Collection in Paris. Terri Weifenbach received the Guggenheim Prize in 2015.