Phonar: Task 3 – Artist Research (Silvio Wolf)

In order to complete steps 2 and 3 of task 3 I have conducted research into the artists/photographers who wrote my assignment. This will not only allow me to gain a further insight into their work to complete steps 2 and 3 but it will provide me with inspiration for the completion of the assignment from the Photographer’s Playbook.

Silvio Wolf

Horizons by Silvio Wolf 

Silvio Wolf is an Italian artist that uses abstract photography and multimedia installations to explore themes of visual perception, absence and presence as well as the language of images. Wolf is particularly interested in activating the perception of a simultaneous past and present, here and elsewhere, coexisting in time and space. As a result in his work he welcomes the accidental and the unpredictable, this could be due to his background in philosophy and psychology. 

Wolf primarily made large-format works early in his career but later began to incorporate various media—including light, sound, video, and still projections—into his art. Wolf has stated that as he works on an installation his subjective perception of the location transforms it “into a symbolic territory” and the finished installation “gives the audience a more general and shared understanding.”

In his series Horizons, Wolf takes the threshold between light and darkness as his subject, using a chance-based darkroom process that results in abstract fields of colour, often reminiscent of paintings by Mark Rothko which can be seen below. The Horizons series is based on parts of the photographic film leaders, self-exposed by light while loading a camera. Light radiation acts directly onto the photosensitive material before any pictures are taken and without the intention of the photographer. The Horizons are created from discarded matter of the photographic process. Each Horizon reveals a threshold, the clear limit between light and darkness, between matter and language. Through this series Wolf develops the concept of photography before the picture. The Horizons are visible forms of light echoes.

In an interview that can be found here, Wold explains that “Photography can be  thought of as an interpretation of visual reality…new visions can be found in the image themselves. These visions don’t relate to the real place and object any longer they are windows which we can see beyond.”

Paintings by Mark Krothko


Published by

Charlotte Pattinson

Photography student

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