Hiroshi Sugimoto: Black Box

Text and interview by Philip Larratt-Smith
Text by Iran do Espírito Santo Copublished with FUNDACIÓN MAPFRE

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11 x 11 in. 203 pages, 66 duotone images Hardcover 978-1-59711-359-5 March 2016

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Hiroshi Sugimoto has explored ideas of time, empiricism, and metaphysics through a surreal and formalistic approach since the 1970s. A self-described “habitual self-interlocutor,” Sugimoto uses the camera as a bridge between abstract questions and the quiet, comical nature of modern everyday life. Whether formally photographing Madame Tussauds wax figures and the wildlife scenes at the American Museum of Natural History, or opening the lens of his 8-by-10 camera to capture a two-hour-long film in one exposure, he explores themes of consumerism, narrative, and existence in rich and evocative imagery. This new project presents a survey of Sugimoto’s iconic work, from his calm seascapes to his more recent exploration of lightning fields and photogenic drawing. Created in conjunction with an upcoming exhibition at FUNDACIÓN MAPFRE in Spain, the survey includes an introduction and essay by writer and curator Philip Larratt-Smith, an interview with Sugimoto, and text by the prominent Brazilian artist Iran do Espírito Santo.


Hiroshi Sugimoto (born in Tokyo, 1948) is a Japanese photographer and architect. He divides his time between Tokyo and New York City. Sugimoto has exhibited extensively in major museums and galleries throughout the world, and his work is held in numerous public collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo; National Gallery, London; National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo; Smithsonian, Washington, D.C.; and Tate, London, among others.


Philip Larratt-Smith (text and interview) is a Canadian curator and writer. He has curated exhibitions around the world, from Museo Jumex and the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City, to the Qatar Museums Authority in Doha. From 2002 to 2010, Larratt-Smith worked as Louise Bourgeois’ literary archivist, resulting in the discovery of Bourgeois’ psychoanalytic writings, which became the core of his landmark exhibition and two-volume publication The Return of the Repressed (2012).


Iran do Espírito Santo (text) is a Brazilian artist based in São Paulo. His work has been exhibited in museums and galleries worldwide, and is included in the collections of institutions such as the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. He has also participated in the Venice Biennale, Bienal de São Paulo, and Istanbul Biennal. His work has been included in the recent exhibitions The Portrait as an Image of the World at the Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo, and Present Tense at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

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