A City in the Mind
25 May - 21 July 2012
Brancolini Grimaldi announces a new exhibition by photographer Peter Fraser. Peter Fraser has created a portrait of London unlike any other. Inspired by Italo Calvino’s novel Invisible Cities in which the explorer Marco Polo tells the Emperor Kublai Khan of the many fantastical cities he has visited on his travels, Fraser has spent the past five years photographing his current home, London, with the aim of creating an imagined “city in the mind”. In a series of intimate and enigmatic images, Fraser reveals a poetic vision of London which appears to bear little if any relation to the city as we know it.
What kind of city has Fraser created? Several photographs feature antiquated miniatures or models, perhaps from some kind of museum. Other images show objects whose visceral texture and colour leaps out from the picture plane –a suggestively fleshy conch shell; shiny chestnuts on a table; the glowing red vellum of a volume of Who’s Who. A dazzling chandelier and a gold chair hint at opulent palaces. Others could relate to learning –a white board is the subject of one image; an antique model of penicillin another. The objects chosen by Fraser could be read as portals to another world, openings onto stories and histories, even other civilizations. And here, as in his previous work, Fraser’s eye is drawn to things and interiors that would not fascinate most as they do him. The London of Fraser’s mind is mysterious and allusive, and reminds us that ultimately all cities are created in the mind.
Peter Fraser was born in Cardiff in 1953 and graduated in photography from Manchester Polytechnic University in 1976. In 1982 Fraser began working with a Plaubel Makina camera, which led to an exhibition with William Eggleston at the Arnolfini, Bristol, in 1984. Fraser’s many books include Two Blue Buckets (1988), Deep Blue (1997), and Lost for Words (2010). In 2002 the Photographers’ Gallery, London, staged a twentyyear survey of Fraser’s work, and in 2004 he was shortlisted for the Citibank Photography Prize.
A monograph of A City in the Mind is co-published by Steidl and Brancolini Grimaldi with a foreword by Brian Dillon in May 2012.
A major exhibition of Peter Fraser’s work will be at Tate St Ives from the 26th January to the 6th May 2013. Tate will publish a monograph covering the whole of Fraser’s career to date with an essay by David Chandler.