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Hiroshi Sugimoto is proof that you can do a lot with a little. His starkly minimal subjects aren’t extraordinary landscapes or high profile events, but still draw the viewer in with intensity. Many of his ongoing series explore themes of time, memory, dreams, and history—all with a simplistically effective style.

A retrospective of his work makes it fourth and final stop tomorrow at the de Young Museum in San Francisco. The exhibition includes images (like the one at left) from Sugimoto’s Movie Theaters series, in which he would set up his camera in a busy movie theater and leave his shutter open for the entire length of the film, resulting in a shot of a seemingly empty space bathed in an eerie glow.

The show also includes selections from his Seascapes series—simple black-and-whites of perfectly balanced water and horizon that laugh in the face of the rule of thirds, and Portraits, in which he implored lighting techniques to transform wax models (including Henry VIII and his six wives) at London’s Madame Tussauds into portraits in the style of sixteenth century paintings.

Photos from several of his other collections spanning the course of his career are will also be on display July 7 through September 23 at De Young Museum, Golden Gate Park 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive San Francisco, CA.
_—Kathleen Davis
Assistant Editor