The Island Club will be opening its first exhibition Sensationnelle Novität (Sensational Novelty) on January 20, 2018. Borrowing its title from the promotional material for a series of collotypes by Martin Gerlach, the exhibition brings together works by pioneers of photography Martin Gerlach and Ogawa Kazumasa.
Martin Gerlach (Martin Peter Gerlach)
March 13, 1846 – April 9, 1918
German-Austrian photographer and publisher Martin Gerlach was amongst the first to experiment with photography. The exhibition features eight collotypes from Festons und Decorative Gruppen nebst einem Zieralphabete aus Pflanzen und Thieren, Jagd, Touristen- und anderen Geräthen (1893), presented for the first time in the historical context and the intellectual milieu of Secessionist Vienna. This was Gerlach’s first publication to include exclusively photographic work. The highly imaginative collages on display are selected from an extensive series of 146 collotypes. Gerlach’s compositions are an idiosyncratic innovation within the tradition of botanical compendia — in his own words, his desire to “offer too much rather than too little” meant that the collages were effectively “a kind of piling up of subjects”.
Ogawa Kazumasa (also known as Ogawa Kazuma or Ogawa Isshin)
September 29, 1860 – September 6, 1929
Japanese photographer, printer, and publisher Ogawa Kazumasa is widely acknowledged as one of the pioneers of photography and photomechanical printing in the Japanese Meiji era. His training in photography started at the age of 15 and furthered when he moved to Boston to train in portraiture and the dry plate process. Ogawa is credited for being among the first to provide views of his times to a wider local public, while his contribution to the understanding of the Meiji period outside Japan is considered invaluable. Even though he is best known for illustrations involving collotypes and half-tone prints, he used a number of other techniques, including ambrotypes, albumen prints, platinotype prints, and stereoviews. Sensationnelle Novität features four of Ogawa’s colour flower collotypes.
ABOUT THE ISLAND CLUB
The Island Club is a non-profit exhibition space initiated by artist Christodoulos Panayiotou. Located in Agora Anexartisias/Independence Market, a shopping arcade in the commercial centre of Limassol, The Island Club appropriates the name of the NAAFI (Navy, Army and Air Force Institutes) family club that was established during colonial times to provide entertainment for the members of the British Armed Forces. As access to the club was restricted to servicemen and their guests, it is now largely forgotten by locals.
Opening: The Island Club – Sensationnelle Novität
20 January 2018, 11:00 – 14:00
All works courtesy of private collection