As promised by the title, each of these photogravures presents a quartet of small, similar birds, side-by-side on a perch. The photographic style employed is that of the studio portrait—beautifully lit, finely detailed, posed in an ambiguous neutral space—a format designed to document with fidelity even as its strictures betray reality. These gravures are printed immaculately with a tonal range that renders crisp every detail. The birds themselves are crossbreeds, created by an ornithologist; they have unique physical features but are incapable of reproduction. They thus represent—in feather, flesh and blood—an almost perfect marriage of nature and artifice.
Carsten Höller, Four Birds (2015)
- Series of nine photogravures, image 36.5 x 49.5 cm, paper 54.5 x 67 cm. Edition of 18. Printed and published by Niels Borch Jensen, Copenhagen. €3,500 each.