Monash Gallery of Art, “the Australian home of photography,” has a retrospective exhibition of the work of John Gollings, our premier architectural photographer.
“The History of the Built World is the first major survey of Golling’s photographic practice, and offers a much anticipated opportunity to appreciate the full breadth of his unique photographic vision.”
It may seem a stretch to call it the history of the built world, but his subjects go back to aboriginal interventions in the environment of 28000 years ago – see photo above – and include ancient Indian structures and other antiquities along the way to contemporary architecture by Frank Gehry and others.
Golling’s approach has been consistent throughout his half-century career, to interpret a building’s structure and explain it in its own place and context. As a trained architect he understands design and form. The exhibition presents his photography as an illustrative craft, always in service to the client and the subject.
Gollings is also a spectacular entertainer. His vital images radiate energy and he employs every trick to achieve it: ultra-wide lenses to stretch space, natural and artificial light for colour gloss, and shameless vignetting to focus the eye on the glowing subject at the centre. In a sense, he combines the instincts of a Pictorialist – to make the picture and its subject an aesthetic object, and a modernist – to express the building’s deep structure. He is one of our indispensible photographic artists.
John Gollings: The history of the built world runs until March 4, 2018 at Monash Gallery of Art.