Photographer Jan Dibbets, who taught art and studied with painting with Jan Gregoor, draws on the rich tradition of Dutch painting, and its emphases on light, structure and nature, in his work. Dibbets developed a painterly approach to photography, challenging the assumption that photography produces only objective reproductions of reality, and exploring the possibilities of a photograph as an art object. Dibbets’s series “Perspective Correction” explores the dichotomy between the illusion the camera creates and the reality that the eye sees, laying the foundation for what eventually became recognized as conceptual art. In the mid-1970s, Dibbets pushed the boundaries of the photographic medium even further, becoming the first artist to recognize large-scale color photography as a legitimate medium.
An exhibition now on view at New York City’s Gladstone Gallery through October 26 features Dibbets’s series “Colour Studies,” large-scale prints depicting views of car hoods. The works were created from Dibbets’s original 1970s materials, using modern technology and contemporary techniques. Interested in the way a close-cropped view of an object can obscure its representational value, Dibbets often uses scenes from the everyday (landscapes, windows, automobiles) to create new perspectives. Cast in glossy, bright hues, “Colour Studies” reflects Dibbets’s interest in manipulating color to question the relationship between representation and reality.