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CATHERINE GFELLER | MULTI-COMPOSITIONS BY SWISS PHOTOGRAPHER
January 12th 2018
Weaving her way through the crowds of a bustling urban city, camera in hand, Catherine Gfeller photographs the world around her in quick succession. People brushing past as they bustle through their busy lives, lights flashing from the city signs, tall buildings looming up all around, busses whirring past the pavement - a multitude of life and energy making up a unique and vibrant city.
by Tessa Yee
ARTIST RE-VISITED
Swiss-born Catherine Gfeller is a contemporary photographic and multi-media artist, now living in Paris and Southern France, having previously graduated from the Universities of Neuchatel and Lausanne with a Masters in Fine Arts.

Igniting a passion for photography during her travels through California, it was only after moving to New York in the 1990s, that Gfeller developed her now well-known photographs of urban cities - a subject she remains primarily concerned with today.

Catherine Gfeller

Survey , 2000

80(w) x 14(h) cm
31.50(w) x 5.59(h) inches
Iris print
Edition of 100
PRICE
$ 525.00
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Capturing images of people, buildings, bridges, cars and their surroundings, Gfeller would delve deep into the heart of the city, soaking up the highly energetic, fast-paced movement of life in the urban jungle. Back at her studio, Gfeller then created long photographic friezes, emphasising the colour, composition and rhythm engrained in the city. Her unique process combined paper, photography and monoprint - overlaying images on images, some areas fractured and faded, and others crystal clear with a focus on subtle details.

While the initial act of photographing could be frantic and spontaneous, this process of collage was much more deliberate, creating careful compositions that reflect not only the physical environment of the city, but the sensations the artist experienced. Gfeller described her works as ‘animated, living paintings’ in which she does not act as a passive observer of the scene, but instead creates the sense of being completely immersed within the city. In this way, her images are extremely intimate impressions of life, as seen directly through the artist’s eyes, with a front row seat into her consciousness.
Catherine Gfeller

InsideOut , 2000

60(w) x 12(h) cm
23.62(w) x 4.80(h) inches
Iris print
Edition of 120
PRICE
$ 450.00
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While in some cases the image is heavily layered and fractured by a number of different views of the city creating a feeling of chaos and life, in other cases, the images are more subdued, utilising onlya single or very small number of photographs that form simple geometric repetitions.

An example of this is Gfeller’s InsideOut, an edition released exclusively by Eyestorm in 2000, not long after the artist’s move from New York to Paris. Here, Gfeller presents five sections of an exterior brick building, repeated across the work with only subtle differences in colour, shade and placement. In contrast to the noise and movement of some of her more complexly layered collages, this work has an almost surreal stillness to it. InsideOut could be a representation of almost any urban city, and the strangely still atmosphere of the work could almost evoke a feeling of de ja vu in the viewer.
Catherine Gfeller

La Traversee , 2000

80(w) x 18(h) cm
31.50(w) x 7.09(h) inches
Iris print
Edition of 100
PRICE
$ 525.00
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Gfeller’s move from New York to Paris naturally had a significant influence on the artist’s creative development. While she retained her preoccupation with urban life and photography, she was now immersed in a completely different kind of urban landscape. Absent were the looming skyscrapers and neon colours - replaced by the wide avenues, the flowing Siene, and the historical aura of Paris. Notably during this time, Gfeller began to experiment with video, sound compositions, and the written word - developing her practice into the multi-disciplinary artist she is known for today.

In 2000, Eyestorm was privileged to work with Catherine Gfeller to create a number of exclusive print editions that reflect the artist’s experiences of both Paris and New York, and also represent the unique developments of her work of that time.
Catherine Gfeller

Multi-Voice , 2000

80(w) x 39(h) cm
31.50(w) x 15.55(h) inches
Iris print
Edition of 75
PRICE
$ 840.00
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Editions such as Survey, La Traversee and Multi-voice once again meditate on the urban cities using photographic collage. However, in these works we can also see the influence of Gfeller’s then, relatively new experiments in video. The images appear like storyboards for a film, divided into distinct sections across the page, emphasizing both movement and the passage of time, and hinting at the story within the works - a scene that is being played out in front of us. Uniquely, these Eyestorm editions reflect a kind of turning point for the artist as she moves from the hustle and bustle of New York, to the historical beauty of Paris, and starts working with a number of new media which would eventually inform the future of her artistic practice.

You can see the five print editions, InsideOut, La Traversee, Multi-voice, Rebus and Survey, on Catherine Gfeller artist page which can be found here.
 
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