Artur Nikodem

October 29 - December 5, 2015
Opening reception: Thursday, October 29, 6-8pm
Press Release Images

Robert Mann Gallery is pleased to present the work of Artur Nikodem. Nikodem, though publicly regarded as a painter throughout his life, privately practiced a different artform: photography. His photographic work, which was not exhibited until after his death, focuses on the intimacy experienced between subject and photographer. In most cases these intimacies were in no way contrived as his subjects included both his lover and his wife. Because his works are presented in small unassuming sizes, the viewer is forced to share the familiarity with which Nikodem addresses his subject, whether that be lover, wife, or country lane.

The sensuality is palpable; the viewer not only looks upon the subject, but she in turn is looking right back. The direct eye contact coupled with the fact that the models are, on occasion, nude, clearly suggests intimacy. However the tenderness with which Nikodem composes these images is also apparent in his non-human subjects. His attention to detail is acute; whether it be capturing the suppleness of a lover’s skin or the dappled light that filters through a birch tree’s foliage, the transient nature of these beautiful moments is captured in one small, elegantly composed frame. Each of these miniature photographs become a testament to its subject, the photographic equivalent of its essence.  

Artur Nikodem (1870 - 1940) was born in Trent, Austria and studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, Milan, and Florence. His growing artistic career was delayed by military service during World War I. Following his return to Innsbruck he began working as a freelance artist. Here he was asked to test cameras and film for a friend who sold photographic supplies. Nikodem’s photographs were not exhibited or discussed outside of his studio until after his death.