FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

OLAF OTTO BECKER—UNDER THE NORDIC LIGHT
Josef Hoflehner— Iceland (in the viewing room)
April 26 – June 9, 2007
Opening Reception:  Thursday, April 26, 7-9pm



7358 Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA. 90036
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Hours, Tuesday – Saturday, 11am-5pm



Olaf Otto Becker, “Haifosstal 1, Iceland”, 2000.
Copyright Olaf Otto Becker, courtesy of the Stephen Cohen Gallery

Stephen Cohen Gallery is pleased to announce, “Olaf Otto Becker—Under the Nordic Light,” an exhibition of the artist’s color photographs of Iceland. “Olaf Otto Becker—Under the Nordic Light,” will run from April 26 to June 9, 2007.  An opening reception for Becker will be held on Thursday, April 26, 2007 from 7 to 9 p.m.  
 
Olaf Otto Becker was born in Travemunde, a seaside resort in Germany, in 1959. He began as a painter trained in the 19th Century Romantic style, but turned to photography, earning a degree from the University of Applied Sciences for Design in Augsburg and subsequently, to the study of philosophy at the Ludwig‑Maximilians‑University in Munich.  
 
Becker photographs in color, almost always at night, finding images in the landscape that mirror and reflect his interior life. The long exposures and northern night’s flat light allows the artist to produce images of haunting beauty in deeply saturated colors. A bright green in the Nordic sun turns into a deep verdant green in a Becker photograph. The atmosphere is palpable.
 
Led by intuition, Becker is drawn to primeval images of land and water that resonate subconsciously. He will photograph and re-photograph a site until perfect. In four years, he has covered more than 11,000 miles of Icelandic terrain and made only one hundred color 8 x 10 negatives. The images that result are diverse, ranging from precipitous waterfalls and endless expanses of sea to gravel construction sites and concrete dams.  Carefully constructed, yet never artificial, the landscapes capture the sincere, philosophical quality of Becker’s character. It is here that he brings the viewer, to a place of deep contemplation where time stands still.
 
Becker has exhibited widely in solo and group exhibitions in Europe and his book, Under the Nordic Light, was short-listed for the renowned 2006 Rencontres D’Arles Book Award. In 2007, Becker will exhibit his Icelandic work at the Museum of Photography in Reykjavik. And in July 2007, Hatje Cantz will publish “Broken Line”, breathtaking landscapes of Greenland.
 
To complement “Under the Nordic Light”, the Stephen Cohen Gallery is pleased to present Josef Hoflehner: Iceland, in the viewing room.  Born 1955 in Wels, Austria, Hoflehner has also had a long held a fascination with remote and secluded places. As a photographer, he has traveled to 25 countries on all seven continents in order to capture his surreal, minimal black and white images — wooden posts, weathered rocks, fences, piers, abstract objects in snow, water or sand — moments often overlooked by the naked human eye.  Known for working with long exposures and reducing the landscape to elemental shapes, Hoflehner has won awards at the international level.  His work has been shown in several solo exhibitions in England, Austria and New Zealand.

“Olaf Otto Becker—Under the Nordic Light” will exhibit at the Stephen Cohen Gallery located at 7358 Beverly Boulevard in Los Angeles.  The gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and by appointment.




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