Livret Esser


Exhibition Statement

Galerie RX proposes a solo show of Franco-German photographer Elger Esser, featuring selections from two

recent photo series taken in Israel and Egypt in dialogue with one another. These two nations are rendered by Esser at

once alike and distinct in their topographies, as their shared aesthetic beauty occludes their disparate religious, political, and

artistic histories. By bringing these works together in our space at Expo Chicago, Galerie RX will present viewers with an

opportunity to consider and imagine landscapes normally obscured by complex and divisive narratives.

This presentation will feature photographs of landscapes in Egypt and Israel, taken during the artist’s travels there in 2011

and 2015, respectively. Elger titled a publication of these images Morgenland (“Morning Land”), a long obsolete term

which was replaced by label “Orient”, and then again by “Middle East”. His chosen term evokes many of the Western

mythologies about this region as the promised land, the holy land, and a site of romanticized encounters with the East,

longed for by the painters, writers, and photographers of the nineteenth century. Esser was drawn “towards morning”

as well, and the images he brought back contain both the poetry of the occidental gaze as well as the realities of the

contemporary moment. Immersed in the sand-colored light characteristic of Esser’s photographs, seemingly endless horizons

stretch across the entire image surface, divvy it up into water, air, and distant coastal strips, which often seem like mirages.

The impression of time and placelessness is, nevertheless, deceiving: each shot is entitled with the year and place name

of its genesis. And these names are at once steeped in history and reveal the present-day political situation of the region

– an aesthetically fascinating game of deception with past, myth and present.

Elger Esser is represented by the RX Gallery because he have a special bound to France. In fact his mother and

grandmother were born in Bordeaux, France. As he said for an interview at the RX Gallery, Paris, in April, he is German

and that helped him to see French’s landscapes differently than the people inside the country. His eye (and obviously his

camera) had captured the magic yet real beauty of France. Like Jean-Bastille Camille Corot (french painter of the 19th

century) before him, the theme of the souvenir is omnipresent in their work, mixing the reminiscences of a site and the

emotions that remain associated in Esser’s memory.

Akko III, 2015

C-Print, Diasec

154,5 x 184 x 5 cm

Édition : 7

Akko II, 2015

C-print, Diasec

154,5 x 184 x 5 cm

Édition : 7

Neve Zohar, 2015

Copper printing

33 x 43 x 4 cm

Édition : 3 + 1AP

Lifta V, 2015

Copper printing

33 x 43 x 4 cm

Édition : 3

Montfort, 2015

C-print, Alu-Dibond

184 x 229,8 x 4 cm

Édition : 7 + 1AP

Shivta, 2015

C-Print, Alu-Dibond

184 x 228,5 x 4 cm

Édition : 7 + 1AP

El Quarwad, 2011

C-print, Diasec

141 x 184 x 5 cm

Édition : 7

Assuan IV, 2011

Copper printing

33 x 43 x 4 cm

Édition : 3 + 1AP

Edfu, 2011

Copper printing

33 x 43 x 4 cm

Édition : 3 + 1AP

Nil III, 2011

Copper printing

33 x 43 x 4 cm

Édition : 3 + 1AP

Elger Esser

Esser is an internationally acclaimed photographer. A student of Bernd and Hilla Becher at the Kunstakademie

of Düsseldorf, he terminated his studies with them as soon as he discovered the landscape. With his large

format camera, he travels around the world photographing and capturing timeless landscapes, where neither

the human figure nor its imprint is visible.

Esser’s photographs, testimonies which bridge the historical and the remembered, are inspired by the writings

of Proust, Flaubert, and Maupassant. He draws on the nineteenth century not only for its literary and pictorial

inspirations, but also as a source of techniques to be experimented with and reinvented (heliogravure,


Was born in Stuttgart in 1967, Germany ; lives and work in Düsseldorf, Germany.

Personal exhibition

Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Linz, Austria.

The Florida Museum of Photographic Arts, Tampa, United Sates.

Photobiennale Moscow, Exhibition Hall New Manege, Moscow, Russia.

Group exhibition

Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France.

Gana Art Center, Séoul, Korea.

National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia.

Somerset House, London, UK.

Public and private collections

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, United States.

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, United States.

Centre Pompidou, Paris, France

Museum der Moderne Salzburg, Salzbourg, Austria

Fundació Foto Colectania, Barcelone, Spain


Oskar-Schlemmer Prize

Brief gallery history

Galerie RX opened in 2002, originally in the 8th arrondissement of Paris. The gallery expanded

in September 2010 with Générateur RX, a place of experimentation designed to encourage

contemporary through new programs – international artists residencies and monumental installations.

This space of 1500m2 is located at the gates of Paris.

In October 2016, the project of relocating to the Marais, a neighborhood largely dedicated to

contemporary art, was realized with the opening of a new 640m2 space. This antique mansion,

formerly the Hôtel Gegault de Crisenoy, is located between the Musée Picasso and the Musée

de la Chasse et de la Nature.

The strategic location in the heart of the Marais, the 6 public and private exhibition rooms, and

the layout of the space allow multiple simultaneous exhibitions. For the international and French

artists represented by the gallery, this is an ideal space to exhibit their various works such as

photographs, paintings, or even large sculptural installations. A large storeroom of works with

storage racks, drawing tables, and hanging walls is also able to enrich exhibitions and to hang

artworks according to various requests and projects.

In addition, the gallery proposes and develops external projects with public and private institutions,

as well as partnerships with international galleries.

16 rue des Quatre Fils, 75003 Paris

Tel : ·


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