Carl Zimmerman - Photo of the artist - Image courtesy of the artist

Carl Zimmerman/ Carl Zimmerman

Canada 1951

Photography

www.carlzimmerman.ca

Carl Zimmerman
Carl Zimmerman
Male
Canada
1951

Carl Zimmerman is a Canadian artist, known for his photographs of small-scale architectural models and maquettes which he builds himself. Born in 1951, Carl Zimmerman was raised in Hamilton, Ontario and moved to Nova Scotia in 1974. As a kid, the artist was fascinated and intrigued by huge public and industrial buildings in his hometown – feelings which he would later transpose into his Lost Hamilton Landmarks photo series. Zimmerman briefly attended McMaster University in Hamilton and the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design.

Architectural Utopias: Process of Making

Interested in monumental landmarks and interpretations that are associated with these architectural giants, Zimmerman creates his own imaginary worlds with fictional ruins, massive buildings, and forgotten utopias. The artist starts his process by building small-scale architectural models that are photographed from various perspectives, and are then digitally edited and combined with real backgrounds. Zimmerman manages to produce convincing, beautifully realized, and even nostalgic conceptual projects and photo series that reflect his ambivalent understanding of a socialist and neoclassical architecture.

The artist produces beautiful and nostalgic conceptual projects and photo series that reflect his ambivalent understanding of a socialist and neoclassical architecture

Carl Zimmerman - Public Baths, Manchester, England - Landmarks of Industrial Britain series
Carl Zimmerman – Public Baths, Manchester, England – Landmarks of Industrial Britain series

Lost Hamilton Landmarks

Zimmerman’s first project was Lost Hamilton Landmarks photographic series, created in a period between 1994 and 2009. The title of the series is referring to the city of Hamilton, Ontario, where the artist was born and raised. Lost Hamilton Landmarks project draws upon the artist’s experience and memories from his childhood, combined with his interest in ambitious and authoritarian-styled, pre-war national building programs. The whole series is produced in order to suggest massive forms, reminiscent of 1930s architecture, but it also demonstrates ideas of Communism, Fascism and New Deal social democracy.

Lost Hamilton Landmarks project draws upon the artist’s experience and memories from his childhood

Carl Zimmerman - Niagara Hydropower Station, 2005 - Lost Hamilton Landmarks, architecture, maquettes, photography
Carl Zimmerman – Niagara Hydropower Station, 2005 – Lost Hamilton Landmarks

Landmarks of Industrial Britain

Carl Zimmerman’s second series is Landmarks of Industrial Britain, created from 1999 till 2009. The artist produced maquettes of public buildings, filled with classical architectural elements, in such way creating a fabricated past and fictional time and space of industrial Britain. The images reflected on the 19th century Roman and Greek prototypes popular during the Industrial Revolution. Landmarks of Industrial Britain has been shown as a touring exhibition throughout Canada, co-sponsored by the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia and Dunlop Gallery, Regina.

Carl Zimmerman - War Memorial, Leeds, England - Landmarks of Industrial Britain series, maquettes, photography
Carl Zimmerman – War Memorial, Leeds, England – Landmarks of Industrial Britain series

Cold City

Zimmerman’s project titled Cold City in a way follows the themes and aesthetics of the previous series as Carl still wanted to suggest something of the old WWII world and its frightening decline. The artist concentrated on the development of a nuclear arsenal that followed the bloodiest war in history of man, focusing on the Post-war consciousness that the Soviet Union defined as a fight for national survival. Cold City is mainly influenced by images of Soviet restricted industrial or military complexes associated with the period of Cold War. Located in such extremely remote locations, these closed cities carry a feeling of slowness, a sense of heaviness and immobility successfully transferred by Zimmerman’s skillful use of perspective, landscape and space.

Zimmerman explained his interest in these themes with the following statment: In Cold City, I envisioned buildings from the Soviet Cold War past – administrative, utilities, infrastructure, buildings originally designed to deliver a subtle or not so subtle message, now victims of changing times, substandard construction, ravages of climate. Still, they are not ruins. Rather they are like arctic debris – an ever present reminder that unlike the south where nature seems to recover societies’ intrusions quickly, alterations to the north are effectively permanent. Cold City was an entirely digital process with the exception of the model making. Models were photographed with a digital camera, then combined and altered in Photoshop. The images were later printed with a large format inkjet printer, resulting in fascinating visuals. There is a strong sense of nostalgia present in Cold City, as well as an admiration for an almost scientifically crafted confidence to tackle great social issues.

Cold City series are influenced by images of Soviet restricted industrial or military complexes associated with the period of Cold War

Carl Zimmerman - Exterior With Shadow, 2013 - Cold City series, architecture, maquettes, photography
Carl Zimmerman – Exterior With Shadow, 2013 – Cold City series

Awards, Grants and Exhibitions

Throughout his career, Carl Zimmerman has received numerous awards, grants, and recognitions. Some of the recent honors include grants from the Canada Council, the Pollack/Krasner Foundation and a residency at the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin in 2001. Some of the art publications and journals that have featured and reviewed Zimmerman’s images include Carte Blanche, a definitive survey of contemporary Canadian photography, Canadian Art, Sculpture, CV photo, BorderCrossings, C Magazine, and Arts Atlantic. Also, the artist has been focused on improvements and development of printing technology, while working in a collaboration with Image House in Halifax. Work of Carl Zimmerman has been exhibited internationally and nationally, at various venues such as the Irish Museum of Modern Art, the Sternberk Installation Symposium, Czech Republic, The Photographer’s Gallery, Milan, the National Arts Centre, Ottawa, the Art Gallery of Hamilton, Beaverbrook Art Gallery, the Art Gallery of Windsor, Confederation Centre Art Gallery and the CONTACT Photography Festival in Toronto. In addition, Zimmerman’s artworks are included in many public and private collections, including the Irish Museum of Modern Art, the Canada Council Art Bank, Art Gallery of Hamilton, Museum London, Owens Art Gallery, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia and Confederation Centre Art Gallery.

Carl Zimmerman is represented by Stephen Bulger Gallery, based in Toronto, alongside other artists such as Phil Bergerson, John Lucas, Anthony Koutras, and Joseph Hartman.

Carl Zimmerman currently lives and works in Marble Mountain, Nova Scotia.

Featured Image: Carl Zimmerman – Photo of the artist – Image courtesy of the artist
All images are copyright of the artist

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2014Cold CityStephen Bulger Gallery, Toronto, OntarioSolo
2013Carl Zimmerman: Lost Hamilton LandmarksOwens Art Gallery, Mount Allison University, Sackville, New BrunswickSolo
2013Lost Horizon, Landscape By Other MeansSt. Mary's University Art Gallery, Halifax, Nova ScotiaGroup
2012MaquettesStudio 21, Halifax, Nova ScotiaSolo
2011Materials And Space: A Selection Of Recent Acquisitions 2007-2010Dalhousie University Art Gallery, Halifax, Nova ScotiaGroup
2011National ProgrammeIrish Museum Of Modern Art, Wexford Art Centre, Wexford, IrelandGroup
2010Selected WorkStudio 21, Halifax, Nova ScotiaSolo
2010What's Lost And What RemainsMuseum London, London, ONGroup
2009Twenty Years Of The Friends Of The Owens GalleryOwens Art Gallery, Mount Allison U., Sackville, New BrunswickGroup
2008-09Exquisite CorpseIrish Museum Of Modern Art, Dublin and Ireland Ormeau Baths Gallery, Belfast, Northern IrelandGroup
2008National VistaConfederation Centre Art Gallery, Charlottetown, P.E.I.Group
2008Distillery District ProjectDistillery District - Fido Spot, Bos Canada, Toronto, ONGroup
2008Reshelving Initiative 3Eye Level Gallery, Halifax, NS Group
2007Carl Zimmerman: Landmarks Of Industrial BritainStephen Bulger Gallery, TorontoSolo
2007Image House ProjectEye Level - St. Mary's University Art Gallery, HalifaxGroup
2007Bobby Nock And Carl Zimmerman: A Rare GlimpseUniversity Of Cape Breton Art Gallery, Sydney, NSGroup
2007It’s A Wonderful LifeOwens Art Gallery, Sackville, NB Group
2007Stranger Than FictionForest City Gallery, London, ONGroup
2007Portfolio Review ExhibitionContact Photo Festival, HP Gallery, Toronto, ONGroup
2007The Articulations: Conex-UsMendel Art Gallery, Saskatoon, SK Group
2006-08Landmarks Of Industrial BritainArt Gallery Of Nova Scotia and Dunlop Gallery, Halifax and Regina Solo
2006Group ShowThe Photographers Gallery, Milan, ItalyGroup
2006New PurchasesMary Black Gallery, Nova Scotia Art Bank, Halifax, NS Group
2005-06Drawings And Works On Paper From The IMMA CollectionIrish Museum Of Modern Art, Dublin, Ireland Group
2005Unbuilt: Visionary Building In Colonial P.E.I.Confederation Centre Art Gallery, Charlottetown Solo
2005Shadowlands, Selections From The CollectionMuseum London, London, ONGroup
2003Piano WorksRobert McLaughlin Gallery, Oshawa, ONGroup
2003Atlantic Art On The MezzanineNational Arts Centre - Canada Council Art Bank, Ottawa, OnGroup
2003Optical IllusionsMount Saint Vincent Art Gallery, Halifax, NS Group
2002-03The Unblinking Eye, Lens-Based Works From The IMMA collectionIrish Museum Of Modern Art, Dublin, IrelandGroup
2001Residency Program Exhibition - Interior With Photo Of BuildingIrish Museum Of Modern Art, Dublin, Ireland Solo
2001Photopolis: NSCAD PhotographyArt Gallery Of Nova Scotia, Halifax, NS Group
2001Earful Audio Art FestivalCentre For Art Tapes, Halifax, NSGroup
2000-01Artists In A Floating WorldBeaverbrook Art GalleryGroup
2000Untitled: Recent Work By Carl ZimmermanOwens Art Gallery, Mount Allison University, SackvilleSolo
2000Marion McCain Atlantic Art ExhibitionFredericton, NBGroup
2000Westward Ho: A Guided TourHX: Halifax Exhibition Of International Contemporary Art, Halifax, NSGroup
2000OffsiteOwens Art Gallery, Mount Allison University, Sackville, NBGroup
2000Six Foot Rule: Culture Of DisplayArt Gallery Of Nova Scotia - Vans, Museum Of Industry, New Glasgow, NSGroup
1998Lost Hamilton LandmarksArt Gallery Of Hamilton, Hamilton, ONSolo
1997-99Theatrum Mundi, McCain Atlantic Art ExhibitionBeaverbrook Art Gallery, Fredericton, NBGroup
1997Lost Hamilton Landmarks and Fields Of HeavenSt. Mary's University Art Gallery, Halifax, NSSolo
1997BeachAcadia University Art Gallery, Wolfville, NS Solo
1995Art En DirectGalerie Sans Nom, Moncton, NBGroup
1995Collective ViewingSt. Mary's University Art Gallery, Halifax, NS Group
1994Sternberk Augustinian Monastery Installation SymposiumSternberk, Czech RepublicGroup
1994Far And WideDartmouth Heritage Museum, Dartmouth, NSGroup
1993Building InteriorHamilton Artists Inc., Hamilton, ON Solo
1993Image And ScaleSt. Francis Xavier University Art Gallery, Antigonish, NSGroup
1992The Lark AscendingOO Gallery, Halifax, NS Solo
1992Life And Times In The Maritimes: 30 Minutes Later in NewfoundlandEye Level Gallery, Halifax, NS Group
1992Subject Matter: Contemporary Painting And Sculpture In Nova ScotiaArt Gallery Of Nova Scotia, HalifaxGroup
1991The Calm SeaArtefect Gallery, Toronto, ON Solo
1991Beside Still WaterDalhousie University Art Gallery, Halifax, NSSolo
1990Carl ZimmermanNova Scotia Photo Co-Op, Halifax, NSSolo
1989Carl ZimmermanStudio 21, Halifax, Nova ScotiaSolo