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Vincent van Gaalen: "Shades of the Night”

  • Highlights
On the occasion of Earth Hour, BBA Gallery presents the solo exhibition "Shades of the Night" by Dutch photographer Vincent van Gaalen. His photographs on natural landscapes in remote regions of Europe, especially on nights with a full moon are spectacular.

In “Shades of the Night”, nature has an original quality since landscapes are portrayed in total darkness.
In the moonlight, just the contours of mountains, forests, waterfalls or lakes are recognisable.

Van Gaalen concentrates solely on landscapes: neither animals nor people appear in his works. In these dark sceneries, familiar worlds to us appear strangely removed, paving a way for new perspectives.

The depictions of nature in art are timeless. They might have been taken around 100 years ago as well as in the future.
“Absence” is a series enveloped in monochrome tones where even the sky is shown without colour.
Despite the unusual aesthetic of the photographs, the viewer is able to imagine the colours that van Gaalen deliberately omits. Silvery elements shown to be rock formations shrouded in mist, leaves or the contours of trees.

The darkness which usually has a threatening effect to us is dispelled. The photographer creates places of security and refuge; the quietness of nature within the dark is a relaxing contrast to the busyness of large cities and the glaring brightness which swallows up most of our stars.
Light pollution in Europe is increasing by an average of 6.5% every year.

Since 2020, the Dutchman, only equipped with his camera gear, a tent and provisions, has been travelling to the remote areas of Europe in Portugal, Spain, Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Czech Republic.
As a result, van Gaalen captures an essence of nature which is seldom experienced in densely populated urban areas.

In the context of the climate crisis, van Gaalen's photographs work as a counterpoint to the more violent forms of environmental protests.
The centre of his work points out the friction between human urbanisation and the autonomy of nature. Using a special layering technique, van Gaalen's images appear almost three-dimensional.

Vincent van Gaalen (born in the Netherlands) studied photography at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague. His documentation of nature has been part of numerous exhibitions and has won several awards. In 2022 Vincent van Gaalen won the first place in the international BBA Photography Prize. This is his debut solo exhibition in Germany.

25 April is International Tree Day. The BBA Gallery invites visitors to a special reflection on this day. The gallery will be open with extended opening hours from 6pm to 9pm.

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