1440 GBP / In stock.
Metropoly London, Canary Wharf
Peter Newman, 2012
Chromogenic print (C-type), dry mounted and framed
in Walnut wood with AR (anti-reflective) glass, 76cm x 76cm
Edition of 7

Peter Newman works across different media to make artworks that explore a human relationship to space and modernity. The city is seen as primary instrument of communication and a reflection of creative intent. Metropoly is an on-going series of photographs that record the view looking up from different cities around the world. The photographs are taken using a vintage scientific lens that captures a 180-degree field of view, adapted to fit a state-of-the-art digital camera. Originally invented for astronomy and to observe atmospheric phenomena, Newman uses the 'all-sky' lens to record the urban panorama overhead. The circular images examine a spectrum of architecture across the globe, revealing the character of a city and the way it frames the sky. Modernist structures, such as those of Mies van de Rohe frequently feature in the series, as do contemporary buildings that also invoke the future. Due to the panoptic nature of the lens, slight changes in position radically alter what appears in view. Consequently, Newman searches for the precise vantage point from where everything falls into place, and the time at which to record it.

The images are created in-camera, with a single exposure and a minimum of post production. The photographs have a documentary quality; tracing a particular moment in the history of a city, as well as being the artist's own view of the world. The Metropoly project connects to earlier serial and typological photography, such as the work of Bernd and Hilla Becher, who methodically captured the mechanical structures of the industrial age. Newman employs a formal technique and depicts an architectural empty stage, yet with light and movement in the sky, or from within the buildings themselves, the images portray 'machines for living' that are very much alive. Goethe described architecture as 'frozen music', and this applies to the considered composition of these images. The edge of modernity is met with a desire to find symmetry and harmony within the accumulated structures that make up the built environment. In the cinematic imagining of 2001: A Space Odyssey, Kubrick chose an ultra wide optic to represent the eyesight to HAL, the sentient computer. When seen in this context, Metropoly offers a progression of views as seen by an animate spaceship earth.

Peter Newman is a British, London based artist. Since graduating from Goldsmiths College University of London, he has exhibited extensively in London, Brussels, Hamburg, New York, Chicago and Tokyo. His work has been shown in London’s Trafalgar Square, Royal Festival Hall and Hayward Gallery and at The Guggenheim Museum in Venice. Newman’s video works were projected onto the exterior of the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, Japan for their inaugural exhibition in 2004. In 1999, he was awarded the Mark Rothko travel scholarship, and subsequently in 2005 he received an artist award from the Arts Council of England. His work is part of the public and private collections of MUDAM, Museum of Modern Art, Luxembourg; 21st Century Museum for Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, Japan; The Cleveland Clinic, Goldman Sachs, Fidelity, Land Securities and Great Portland Estates. Permanent installations of his work, Skystation are installed in Cambridge, UK, and also at the Riverlight development designed by Rogers, Stirk and Harbour on the south bank in Nine Elms, London.