Barbara Probst Exhibition of Latest Photographic Works Opening at Murray Guy Gallery
The first time I encountered the works of Barbara Probst I was puzzled, to say the least. I hadn’t heard the name before, although the space which hosted the exhibition I saw was a prominent photography gallery, whose line-up of artists is nothing less of impressive. On display, there were large prints divided by some sort of groups, which contained from two to twelve shots. They appear random, simple, not even that creative, I allowed myself to think – a close-up of an apple, a taxi on the street, a portrait of a woman looking through the window. Why would this Barbara Probst person end up exhibiting at MoMA or Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Photography, like she did in the past? There must be a catch, some sort of a conceptual narrative that often escapes the first glance.
A Matter of Exposure
Between these photographs there appears to be no connection whatsoever, no common style, colors, or scenario. But, as it often happens with such artworks, there’s a great deal of research, impressive technical skills, an elaborated philosophical approach and stunning attention to detail behind their execution. Look at a certain set of images again, and you’ll notice it – it’s about one subject only. One and the same situation, photographed from different angles, and at the same time. Half-eaten apple sitting on the table behind a woman at the window who is looking at the taxi down the street. A total of twelve cameras, going off simultaneously to tell twelve completely different stories as part of a bigger picture. What would Henri Cartier-Bresson have to say about this? Barbara Probst just took his famous “decisive moment” and split it into many others, all valid, all true. I’m sure Picasso, as perhaps the biggest fan of many points of view, would be very proud.
Playing with Time and Space
What Barbara Probst did is rely on photography’s two main components, space and time, and turn a simple task of any rookie photographer to a whole new level. Her Exposures are complete and implausible reflections of our experiences of the world, made of individual fragments which subsequently reveal the full picture, once we manage to find the connection between them. Barbara Probst is a creator of situations and realities, banal and everyday only until that moment you realise just how studied and elaborated they are. Her photography is anything but conventional, and it provides us with many pairs of eyes that we never thought we had. Like life itself, it offers us endless possibilities to observe and explore what’s around us, each of them particular in its own terms.
Barbara Probst Exhibition at Murray Guy Gallery
Barbara Probst was born in Munich, Germany, in 1964. Active since the early 1990s, she has produced a remarkable body of works, which has been exhibited at the world’s most prominent art institutions, galleries and museums. Her artistic style involves almost all genres of the medium imaginable, from landscape, paparazzi, street and documentary photography to advertising, fashion, stock and digital collage – all conveyed to compose many series of imagery that are, quite simply, as original as they come. The latest exhibition of new photographs by Barbara Probst will be on view at Murray Guy Gallery in New York City, USA, from January 14th through February 20th, 2016. Prices for the works in this show range from $20,000 to $80,000.
Featured image: Exposure #114: N.Y.C., 368 Broadway, 02.05.15, 12:13 p.m., 2015. Ultrachrome ink on cotton paper. 12 parts 92 x 137 cm/36 x 54 in each. Edition of 5. All images courtesy of the artist and Murray Guy Gallery.