© Erich Hartmann Estate / Magnum Photos / courtesy CLAIRbyKahn
Erich Hartmann, German/American, 1922 - 1999
Title: Dublin, 1964 (Nelson's Pillar)
Date: 1964
Medium: Silver gelatin print
22.5 x 15 cm
Signed: (on verso), lower left: Ruth Hartmann (on verso), upper left:1964
Credit Line: Purchased, 2018
Object Number: NGI.2018.109
DescriptionErich Hartmann visited Dublin for the first time in 1964. He had already explored the city extensively in his imagination, ever since he first read James Joyce’s Ulysses. But now he came in reality, and he brought his cameras. Eager to understand the strange mix that spawned great artistry but repelled the artist, he wandered the city searching out every place and incident of Joyce’s fictional June day sixty years before. This search resulted in more than an evocation of a novel. It is a record of Erich Hartmann’s own journey of discovery through Dublin, captured in over 3,000 images. Hartmann explored Dublin’s streets at all hours creating interesting contrasts between hustle and bustle of the city by day and stillness of the Dublin’s streets by night. Dublin Street at Night depicts a quiet street on a misty evening through a jagged cut-out of a gate. The light emanating from the street lamps burns through the fog brightening up the dark scene. While the viewer can make out the details of the gate, the street beyond it is out of focus adding to its hazy atmosphere. The soft and subtle texture of the out of focus street scene stands in sharp contrast to the spikes on the gate and the rough edges of metal screen situated above it. Tension builds here as one imagines passing through this pointed gateway and traversing a landscape cloaked in shadow and haze.
ProvenanceErich and Ruth Hartmann, 1964-2007; Clair by Kahn Gallery, 2007; purchased, Clair by Kahn Gallery, Zurich, 2018