Review: Andreas Gefeller - Photographs


Book Reviews, Photobooks


Andreas Gefeller’s Supervisions have been the subject of two books, first Supervisions and now Andreas Gefeller: Photographs. Let’s assume that you think buying one is enough - which one, though, and why that one? To make what could be a long story short, you want to buy the newer one, Andreas Gefeller: Photographs. Here is why.

If you look though the body of work on the artist’s website, you might notice that it uses a very fascinating technique, which produces some amazing results. But it does become clear that the technique has its limitations in that it works very well in some cases, but not in others. I personally am most impressed by the newer images created in Düsseldorf’s art academy, and least impressed by the images at, for example, the sea (I commented on this here).

Just to make the following clear: I don’t want to make it sound as if I had a problem with the fact that there are two books. The first one was published while the project was still on-going and, crucially, evolving. I bought the first book, and I am glad there is the new one, since I think it contains the stronger work (in other words, this new book is not just some milking of the market that, unfortunately, so often seems to be happening when for example an older book is re-released, with previously unreleased images added).

But apart from Andreas Gefeller: Photographs containing the stronger part of “Supervisions”, there is more. Given that these images rely on very large prints (since they contain a lot of detail), re-producing them in a book poses a challenge. In Supervisions, this problem was solved with selected details of various images. While this works reasonably well, if you have seen actual prints, it still leaves something to be desired. Andreas Gefeller: Photographs improves this situation by making generous use of fold-out pages and of details. Unfolding the Düsseldorf art academy is quite an experience.

Andreas Gefeller: Photographs is thus the best possible display of “Supervisions” in book form I can think of: an obvious must-buy for anyone interested in contemporary fine-art photography.

Andreas Gefeller - Photographs, with texts by Martin Hochleitner, Roland Nachtigaller, Ernest Uthemann, German/English, 130 pages, Hatje Cantz