Jochen Lempert is a photographer, as well as a biologist. Knowing this, an entry point opens up for viewers of his images, which are almost always in black-and-white, printed in small or medium formats, have a closely observed, almost analytical feel, and usually take the natural world as their subject. It is easy to view his photographs as bridging the worlds of science and art. Exhibitions of his analog work, such as his debut exhibition in Canada currently at the Contemporary Art Gallery in Vancouver, can feel understated in an world dominated by large-scale, digitally enhanced colour photography. However, the small wonders of Lempert’s practice reveal themselves gradually. Lempert will display series of photographs in diptychs or triptychs that, on the surface, look exactly the same, but close looking reveals subtle differences. Or, he will create arrangements of images that carry subtle associations that are conceptual or formal. For example, this suite of photograms depicting water lilies seems to capture not only the natural drift of the plants themselves, but also the slow passage of time.
Born in 1958, Jochen Lempert lives and works in Hamburg, Germany. In 2015, he had his second solo museum exhibition at the Cincinatti Art Museum, curated by Brian Sholis. In 2014, he was shortlisted for the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize. Since the mid-2000s, his work has been exhibited extensively throughout Germany, France and Spain, and he has produced several artist books and publications of his work since the early-90s. He is represented by ProjecteSD in Barcelona.
Lempert’s exhibition Field Guide runs at the Contemporary Art Gallery in Vancouver until July 17, 2016 as part of the city’s CAPTURE Photography festival.
Images courtesy the artist, BQ, Berlin and ProjecteSD, Barcelona.