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Chemical Pictures

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From 21 February to 8 May 2016, the Josef Albers Museum in Bottrop/Germany presents 'Chemical Pictures' by photography artist Miles Coolidge.

The four large-format photographs by Miles Coolidge (born 1963 in Montreal, Canada) can be seen as a continuation of a previous series, dedicated to 'the inadvertent consequences of the Industrial Revolution'. The artist's research led him to the Prosper-Haniel coal seam in Bottrop, Germany – the last active mining site in the Ruhr Area. Coolidge's passionate exploration of photographic materials prompted him to use soot – an industrial by-product of the combustion of hard coal – as part of the printing process.

The production of Coolidge's 'Chemical Pictures' is based on the work of Friedlieb Ferdinand Runges, a 19th-century chemist who first discovered artificial colours as a by-product of coal processing. The resulting images essentially create themselves – with the artist merely observing the chemical processes that bring them into being.

Further information at Josef Albers Museum

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