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Title

56 minutes (after Kawabata) Spring

2004
printed 2014

Artist

Spencer Finch

United States of America

1962 -

Alternate image of 56 minutes (after Kawabata) Spring by Spencer Finch
Alternate image of 56 minutes (after Kawabata) Spring by Spencer Finch
Alternate image of 56 minutes (after Kawabata) Spring by Spencer Finch
Alternate image of 56 minutes (after Kawabata) Spring by Spencer Finch
Alternate image of 56 minutes (after Kawabata) Spring by Spencer Finch
Alternate image of 56 minutes (after Kawabata) Spring by Spencer Finch
Alternate image of 56 minutes (after Kawabata) Spring by Spencer Finch
Alternate image of 56 minutes (after Kawabata) Spring by Spencer Finch
Alternate image of 56 minutes (after Kawabata) Spring by Spencer Finch
  • Details

    Dates
    2004
    printed 2014
    Media category
    Photograph
    Materials used
    nine inkjet prints
    Edition
    AP [from edition of 1 plus AP]
    Dimensions
    each print: 15.0x15.0 cm image; 12.7x12.7 cm sheet; 27.1x26.6cm frame
    Credit
    Don Mitchell Bequest Fund 2014
    Location
    Not on display
    Accession number
    145.2014.a-i
    Copyright
    © Spencer Finch

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    Artist information
    Spencer Finch

    Works in the collection

    1

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  • About

    Spencer Finch is an American artist who uses painstaking and experimental methods to get at poetic aspects of daily experience. He focuses particularly on changes in light and atmospheric affect. For example, his work ‘Darkness (artist’s studio)’ 2004-5 consists of a series of pastel renditions of the hue of darkness in his studio, recorded every night over a period of months.
    Finch’s working methods speak of a contemporary scientific sublime, in which the natural world is a source of wonder. His rigorous, empirical relationship to the world around him is filtered through poetic and literary references.
    His work ‘56 Minutes (after Kawabata) Spring’ comprises nine images shot at eight-minute intervals looking through a window at dusk (the title refers to the duration of the entire work). The images show the view out the window of his ancestral home in Vermont. As darkness falls, the view out the window gradually diminishes and the interior of the room in which the artist stands reveals itself. This work invokes a passage from the novel ‘Snow country’ by Japanese writer Yasunari Kawabata:
    "In the depths of the mirror the evening landscape moved by, the mirror and the reflected figure like motion pictures superimposed one on the other. The figures and the background were unrelated, and yet the figures, transparent and intangible, and the background, dim in the gathering darkness, melted together into a sort of symbolic world not of this world."
    In describing the subtle interaction between two images – the view and the reflection – Kawabata’s text inspired a literal rendition of the phenomenon. However, in Finch’s series of photographs, the movement is not that of a train through the landscape, but rather that of the earth turning away from the sun, the movement from light to dark and from exterior to interior.
    As many have noted, Spencer Finch’s works are not spectacular or grandiose. They don’t overwhelm their viewers but rather invite them into a quiet and contemplative space, one that captures unrepeatable moments in time and sends them back to the world with sharpened attention.

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 1 exhibition

    • Shadow Catchers, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 22 Feb 2020–03 Jan 2021