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5. October 2022
Artist Interview

Heinrich Heidersberger's historical Genesis NFT drop sold out on elementum

In collaboration with the Heinrich Heidersberger Estate, we released the artist's Genesis NFT drop from his acclaimed "Rythmograms" series on Thursday, 22 September, 2022 which sold out within minutes.

The only Generative Artist from the 1950s that has been collected by PABLO PICASSO." —Georg Bak

Heinrich Heidersberger (1906-2006) is one of the foremost photographers of modern Germany with a photographic career spanning nearly eight decades. Trained as a painter under Ferdinand Léger, he came to photography by chance. In his early career, Heidersberger was known for his Architectural Photography and commissioned work by leading architects of the Braunschweig School, who particularly appreciated his light guidance. Fascinated by the idea of turning light into an object itself, in the early 1950s, he began to devote himself to luminography; the recording of a light source in motion.⁠ ⁠ The artist moved beyond Op Art, by using phenomenal effects to delineate specific figural and three dimensional spaces. His abstract rhythmograms showcase an intersection between geometry, technology, and perception. They transcend through space and time to harmonic figuration. Impressed by the relevance of Heidersberger’s work, Jean Cocteau bought a rhythmogram as a birthday present for Picasso.⁠

Jean Cocteau also wrote a letter directed to and about Heinrich Heidersberger, reading: > "Heidersberger's admirable rhythmograms are proof that chance does not exist for the poets. Coincidence does not exist for the poets, or better, that they give it another name."

Image below of the Jean Cocteau letter, which Cocteau sent to Heinrich Heidersberger.

Talking a line for a walk" is a famous quote by Paul Klee, and Heinrich Heidersberger walked lines of light with the help of a complicated self-built machine - the rhythmograph; inspired by the curve making devices of Jules Antoine Lissajous. This apparatus traces the oscillating movements of light beams across surfaces as it suggests contour of implied volumes. The rhythmograms is a series both poetic and technical, as these works represent a singular vision of the instrumental expansion of art and design. The works allure of elusiveness, part photography, part sculpture, and part architecture. They evoke a concrete sensibility that is both sensual and mathematical.

Heidersberger understood the investigation of scientific phenomena as both an artist and technical executor. For each series of scientific images he built a distinct experimental apparatus designed to capture the richest possible effects.

Image below: #9179, 1 self-portrait, Wolfsburg 1962.

The rhythmograms are by far the most ambitious scientific images and among the most singular images in Heidersberger expansive portfolio, as they share a striking resemblance to his photographic works of spiral staircases and architectural context. In total the artist produced 300 rhythmograms between 1953 and 1965 and they stand as the most unique technical achievement of his career.

Find out more about the artist, via the artist page on elementum, link here.

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