German Artist Renate Aller at the Parrish Art Museum

Renate Aller (German, born 1960) Ocean | Desert, Atlantic Ocean, October 2009

Seascapes - one Location (1999-2009), © Renate Aller

22.03.2019 - Article

The Parrish Art Museum presents Renate Aller: The Space Between Memory and Expectation, a focused exhibition of works by the German-born photographer, March 24 – July 28, 2019.

The German Consulate General Recommends:

WATER MILL, NY 3/7/19—The Parrish Art Museum presents Renate Aller: The Space Between Memory and Expectation, a focused exhibition of works by the German-born photographer illuminating her exploration of the interrelationship of romanticism, memory, and place through dynamic compositions rich with implied narratives. On view from March 24 to July 28, 2019 at the Museum, located in the Hamptons, the immersive installation features seven photographs of dramatic ranges and peaks from Aller’s Mountain Interval series, aligned with five prints from Ocean | Desert—broad expanses of sea and sand. The viewer is surrounded by a panorama that smoothly transitions from mountains to ocean as the eye is guided along a compositionally coherent horizon line. Dramatic images of the Atlantic Ocean, vast sand dunes in New Mexico and Colorado, and the majestic mountain ranges in Switzerland, Italy, Alaska, and Nepal come together to explore “the interval, the space in between … during which apparently nothing happens, but without which no change could happen,” Aller explains. In all their contradiction and beauty, Aller’s photographs convey a sense of the transcendent grandeur inherent in the natural world. 

Aller moved to the south shore of Long Island in 1999 and began to photograph the Atlantic Ocean from the same vantage point at different times of day, year round. A low horizon line grounds the images, while the mutability of weather and sky obliterates any vestige of sameness. The stormy Ocean | Desert, Atlantic Ocean, October 2009, is an image of glory, despair, and hope where a strip of ocean glows gold beneath a band of black sky that gradually yields to progressively lighter clouds. Two images of the Colorado Great Sand Dunes elicit both a sense of security and a place on the brink of drama.

In Mountain Interval, Aller approaches the subjects of rock and snow as if they are portraits not only of place and time, but emotional and psychological attachment. Standing at elevations as high as 22,500 feet, she captures mountain tops removed from contextual surroundings and human presence, resulting in a sense of permanence and authority as well as displacement and unease. PLATE 41 #21s, Swiss Alps, April 2016 is a masterful landscape of lyrical mountain peaks nestled in milk white clouds that may be rising to celestial heights or concealing what lies beneath. In PLATE 53 #28s, Nepal, Himalayas, Everest Region, December 2016, jagged formations impose themselves against a white sky in a depiction of stillness and transition, while appearing to move off the edges of the frame and the face of the earth.

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Location and time:
Parrish Art Museum
279 Montauk Highway,
March 24July 28, 2019

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