artist / participant

press release

„The true Indian artist cannot ignore the blessing of colour... Indians know colour through intuition, while the West tries to know it through the mind. Indeed, India is a river of colour. In my home in Jaipur, black was a colour we shunned, in spite of the dinner jackets that the British brought in. We associated it with evil. When the monsoon breaks and the dusty-brown of the desert becomes a wet-brown dappled by lush greens, the lariya colour also leaps to life through clothing, its greens and yellows assuming a consonance with nature. In the summer, pale colours dispel the heat. At death, the monochrome sheen of white is the colour of mourning; but it is also a colour of life - it is the colour that bonds life and death, because unlike black it is receptive to the whole chromatic scale of colour.“ (Raghubir Singh)

„Yet no matter how spontaneous and serendipitous, Singh's work always feels precisely calibrated—just right—as if he knew his subject so intimately that he had only to focus his attention and everything would fall into utterly unexpected place.“ ( Vince Aletti)

Galerie f5,6 proudly presents the world-renowned photographer Raghubir Singh. His pioneering work in the field of colour photography is currently being rediscovered. Museum shows at the Tate, London and the Whitechapel and in the US have recontextualised his work not only within American street photography but also in relationship to a wider contemporary art practice such as Sarah Lucas, Jeff Wall , Vito Acconci, Phillip Lorca DiCorcia and so forth.

Raghubir Singh (b. Jaipur, India, 1942– d. New York,USA, 1999) is considered one of the most important photographers of his generation. His name is synonymous with India. In his early 20’s Singh was already working for the New York Times and Life Magazine. His first book in colour was published in 1974, two years before William Eggleston’s seminal Guide, an important contribution to early colour photography.

Close in spirit to Henri Cartier–Bresson, whom Singh first met in 1966, he was always interested in „catching life’s entirety in a single glimpse of a moment.“(Henri Cartier-Bresson). Raghubir Singh has been acknowledged in the US, along with William Eggleston, Stephen Shore, Joel Sternfeld, as one of the leading pioneers of colour photography. His highly sensitive use of colour and complex image structures span a bridge between Indian and western pictorial traditions, yet it always remains uniquely Indian. This makes Raghubir Singh’s work incomparable.

Major American and European Institutions have shown retrospectives of his work. He published more than 14 books on India and received many International awards. | Pressetext

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Raghubir Singh