Before the Dawn: Turn of the Century by Eikoh Hosoe
Limited Edition Portfolio of 10 Signed Silver Gelatin Prints
Weston Gallery, Tokyo, 1993 - 9 of 10
Paulownia Wood Portfolio Box
Includes Signed First Edition of Luna Rossa
This portfolio, also known as Luna Rossa, was published in 1993 on the occasion of Eikoh Hosoe's 60th birthday and in connection with the exhibition titled, 'Eikoh Hosoe's New York -- Before the Dawn: Toward the Turn of the New Century', held at the I.C.A.C. Weston Gallery in Shinjuku, Tokyo in March 1993. Eikoh Hosoe worked on this series of nudes in the summers of 1990-96 while teaching photography workshops in the U.S. The theme of his workshops was 'Nudes and the Natural Environment' and his students participated in the making of these images by being his subjects. In Luna Rossa (Red Moon, a metaphor for the darkroom's red light bulb), all the photos were solarized in the darkroom. Actually, three darkroom techniques were employed: Solarization (in the style of Man Ray's Rayograph), photograms (in the style of Moholy Nagy), and photo sketching (in the style of Japanese photographer Ei-Q). Although solarization is the dominant technique, you sometimes see a small part of the photograph that looks normal. It was created by using an object (as for a photogram) to cover an area during the solarization process. The resulting whitish area in the photograph is a very nice contrast with the surrounding darkish, solarization effect. (For example, in the listing photograph, the sunflower was covered from solarization and looks normal. The sunflower is being held by a person standing behind the woman in front.)) The artful photographs are the result of a lot of delicate darkroom work. It makes Hosoe an artist behind the camera as well as under the darkroom light.
Photoeye in their review of Luna Rossa wrote, "Hosoe's subjects for this series seem to be clothes-shedding naturalists from Woodstock, Snowmass, and Anchorage. With a decidedly hippy/new-age feel to the work (with titles like Sunflower Song and Moonlight), Hosoe has employed a variety of darkroom techniques, such as solarizing and masking, to produce work that is at once romantic and futuristic."
The portfolio consists of 10 original solarized gelatin silver prints mounted to larger sheets of cream card with each signed in Kanji and numbered 9 of 20 by Eikoh Hosoe in pencil below the image. The images measure approximately 9.125” x 7.75” (or reverse) and are loose as issued in the original publisher's wooden drawer, brass corner fittings, drawer pulls and label plaque. From the edition limited to 20 copies, only 10 were issued as a portfolio with this being number 9. The remaining 10 were sold as individual prints.
The 10 photographs in the portfolio are:
Lady from Ukiyo-e, Woodstock, New York
Moonlight, Woodstock, New York
Butoh Dance in the Dawn, Snowmass, Colorado
Shadow of a Bodhi Tree, Snowmass, Colorado
Morning Eclipse of the Sun, Woodstock, New York
Witness of the End of the Twentieth Century, Anchorage, Alaska
Before Awakening, Woodstock, New York
Sunflower Song, Snowmass, Colorado
Great White River, Anchorage, Alaska
Black Waterlilies, Woodstock, New York
The photographs are in FINE condition. The Paulownia wood portfolio box is in FINE- condition with a few scratches to the top of the box.
Included with the portfolio is a first edition of Luna Rossa that has been signed by Eikoh Hosoe. The book contains 9 of the 10 images included in the portfolio.
Photographs of the portfolio box, several of the images contained in the portfolio, and photographs of the signed book included with the portfolio appear in the photo section of the listing.