Vanishing points - Page 2

Hiroshi Sugimoto turns a refined eye on dead queens and silver screens

The process reverses in the "Mathematical Forms" series, in which abstract, spiraling shapes — physical contours representing specific algorithmic equations like 3.14 and others that never made sense in high school — become pi-in-the-sky architectural structures eerily akin to the de Young's high-rising tower.

Sugimoto further pushes the potential of architecture both real and imagined in his deliberately blurry images of iconic structures such as Antoni Gaudí's Casa Batillo, the Schindler House, the Guggenheim museums in New York and Bilbao, Spain, and the Chrysler Building, all viewed as if underwater or under the influence. "Superlative architecture survives the onslaught of blurred photography," Sugimoto concludes of his characteristically rewarding experiment in deconstruction.

Having successfully stared down stuffed mountain lions and head-rolling royals, traversed the Caribbean and Marmara seas, aced his math quiz, and demythologized the Monumento ai Caduti with the quick shift of his camera, Sugimoto finally goes to the movies, where he focuses his lens on the screen and keeps his aperture wide open for the duration of a feature-length film. The resulting images reveal blinding white centers of cinematic possibility far more spellbinding than any summer blockbuster. These shining screens celebrate light as both wave and particle, as the essence of seeing, the illuminator of reality, and the obliterator of dream. Light pierces or occludes the horizon running through all of Sugimoto's work; it is the dividing line between nature and culture, fact and fiction, wax and skin. Light, like this truly superlative show that reconfirms Sugimoto as one of our great artists, keeps on giving and giving. *


Through Sept. 23

Tues.–Thurs. and Sat.–Sun., 9:30 a.m.–5:15 p.m.; Fri., 9:30 a.m.–8:45 p.m.; $6–$10 (free first Tues.)

De Young Museum

Golden Gate Park

50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive, SF

(415) 750-3614

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