(England, Australia, United States of America 1961 – )
27.9 x 35.6 cm image/sheet; 45.8 x 53.2 x2.5 cm frame
Adam Fuss is a distinguished international artist whose body of work is notable, not only for its continued concerns with themes of life, death and transcendence, but also for its utilisation of historical photographic methods such photograms and, more recently, daguerreotypes.
Fuss was born in London in 1961. After completing school he left for Australia where his mother's relatives lived. He worked in the studio of Ogilvy & Mather and took classes with photographer Graham McCarter. He moved to New York in 1982 where he spent time photographing and working in galleries in the East Village.
Fuss has participated in numerous group exhibitions around the world including the Whitney Biennial (1991), Prospect Frankfurt (1989 & 1996), The Photography of Invention (1989) and In Camera (1993). An important retrospective of his work, currently touring Europe, opened at the Fotomuseum Winterthur in 1999. Fuss' work is held in numerous private and public collections around the world, including the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne and the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.
This image, from the series 'My Ghost', eloquently represents many of the artist's concerns. It is a daguerreotype (a complicated first form of 19th century photography) of a swan. The use of the daguerreotype technique references the idea of a 'mirror with a memory' or, in a discursive sense, a presence through absence. The swan can be read historically as a mythical creature alluding to love and death: wings poignantly bent in suspension, floating like an apparition. It is a further extension of the artist's preoccupation with incorporating the natural world within his work. For example, other series (mainly photograms) have used rabbit entrails, smoke and spores. In this instance the subtle beauty of the image, with the swan hovering in a sea of soft blue hues and milky whites, resonates with a spiritual quality
Judy Annear, Photography: Art Gallery of New South Wales Collection, 'Magical realism', pg.226-245, Sydney, 2007, 230 (colour illus.), 243 (colour illus.).
Natasha Bullock, Look, 'Swan Imagery - new ways with old techniques', South Yarra, Oct 2001, 11 (colour illus.).
Adam Fuss, Martin Browne Contemporary, Paddington, 18 Oct 2000–12 Nov 2000