Often unfolding the work’s narrative in a series Nicolai Howalt’s oeuvre is marked by the absence of a decisive moment. This conscious artistic choice allows Nicolai Howalt to build a complex psychological narrative. What is characteristic of Nicolai Howalt’s most recent graphic work is the realm of non-place. The central element of the work unfolds in an undefined space lacking all references to any time frame.
Researching the material qualities of Mendeleev’s periodical table Nicolai Howalt made specific use of the printmaking media for the realisation of Gold 79Au #1. The fusion of photogravure and photo etching allowed this combined technique work to acquire a new material sensitivity.
Detached From Time and Space
Choosing the way of experimentation Nicolai Howalt’s next project with Printer’s Proof tried to push even further the technical boundaries of photo etching. By adopting a method that combines the newest technological UV-printing methods with traditional intaglio processes, Herbarium, a series of six etchings was produced. Nicolai Howalt’s photo etchings are a crystallized image of plant specimens that over the course of centuries invaded the Danish flora. Interestingly, however, Nicolai Howalt’s artwork is not perceived as dried plant specimens mounted on paper. The use of the metal pigment allowed those pages selected from the dictionaries of the plant kingdom to acquire the status of a fossil – a trace of past geological times.
Each photo etching in Nicolai Howalt’s series Herbarium records the fragile state of the photo-documented plant while the transparency of the petals makes them appear ghost-like. Even with the meticulous scientific notation on the margins, those works seem to be detached from real-time and space.
Nicolai Howalt, born 1970, Copenhagen, Denmark. Lives and works in Copenhagen, Denmark.
He graduated from Fatamorgana Danish School of Art Photography, Copenhagen (DK).
Nicolai Howalt’s recent exhibitions include Pandemia – Cunning offerings from above, Medicine Museion, Copenhagen (DK), Old Tjikko, Nicolai Kunsthal, Copenhagen (DK), By looking down I see up. By looking up I see down, Bornholms Art Museum, Gudhjem (DK). His work is included in the collections of Maison Europeenne de Photographie, Paris (FR), The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (CA), Museum of Fine Art Houston, TX (USA), Israel Museum, Jerusalem (IL). Nicolai Howalt is the recepient of The Fogtdal Photographers Award.
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Exploring the reality of abstract structures Astrid Myntekær's photogravure similarly to Nicolai Howalt's photo etchings is detached from any references to real time and space