Sabino Maria Frassà, curator of the exhibition at Gaggenau DesignElementi in aRoma, talks about the poetics of the German artist's 'humble' flowers

Curated by Sabino Maria Frassà, "Deep Blossom - Is it just a flower?" is an exhibition dedicated to the veiled oil photographs of Ingar Krauss. With this event, Gaggenau and Cramum inaugurate the cultural programme 2024 from Rome to deepen the analysis undertaken for years on the material that is transformed into beauty. The exhibition is the first solo show in the capital dedicated to the artist, who returns to Rome ten years after his participation in the '13th International Festival of Photography' group show at the Macro Museum.

It's easy to say flowers...

It is easy to say flowers. More complex is to portray them, capturing and revealing their soul. As if they were people... alive and vital. Representing them, staging them as a director guides his actors on a stage. And the light to portray them, where does it come from? Light can be seen and preserved for a long time. Even forever. This new material made of light and nature is the voice of an artist, Ingar Krauss, who narrates and unveils its beauty.

We asked Sabino Maria Frassà, curator of the exhibition, to guide us in the discovery of this beauty.

Why an exhibition on Ingar Krauss?

Ingar Krauss is a German photographer, born in 1965 in East Berlin, a self-taught photographer who unexpectedly won the Leica Prix in 2004. And to this day he continues to impress with the power and intensity of his images. His work, at once authentic and refined, surprises with its ability to capture the essence of reality beyond space and time. His fame has been consolidated over the years through exhibitions, fairs and international projects that have made him one of the most admired photographers in the world, but Italy has never really recognised his value: this is his first solo exhibition in Rome, the first ever to tell of his 'humble' flowers.

Gaggenau once again had the courage to trust and propose something truly 'new' beyond commercial interest, to tell its story of design, beauty and matter through a form of absolute beauty such as Krauss's 'veiled' photography.

What is the strength of his photography?

Analysing Krauss's different series of works, from still lifes to famous portraits of teenagers from former Soviet bloc countries, reveals the independence of his artistic research, which makes him an artist impossible to categorise. The result is the construction of a universal image and imagery in terms of both form and content. In contrast to the gigantism that reigns in contemporary photography, the artist says that "small is beautiful". In the small there is a kind of concentration of density that adapts to the subjects portrayed, respecting them.

And then there is light...

In the "Deep Blossom" exhibition, light is the protagonist: flowers, common and mostly from his garden, are a pretext for the artist to explore the complexity and "depth" of the surrounding reality that a light, always grazing, brings out. His visual research transcends two-dimensionality, embracing a multidimensional perspective.

Can you elaborate on this?

This unique three-dimensionality, almost material, of the images is the result of inspiration and study ranging from Caravaggio to Flemish painting, from which the technique of glazing derives: the artist colours the analogue prints in oil, which, thus soaked in oil, lose their rigidity to the point of curving. This technique was preferred by the author to the 'too vivid' colours of film because it is more consistent with the ultimate intention of narrating the absolute and timeless dimension of the subject, which also determines the choice of the small-medium format.

In a few words, what is the artist's photographic poetics?

It is easy to guess that photography for Krauss is not a simple transfer onto paper of an image captured by the camera, but rather its very representation: in front of a lens, we are never just ourselves, but the 'I' behind the lens can only be added to our projection. The affinity with theatre permeates this body of works, conceived as stage compositions, where the flowers move like actors on a stage and the photographer is actually the director - 'deus ex machina'.

What do flowers represent for Krauss?

Are we sure that when we look at these still lifes we are looking at 'just' a flower? Krauss' flowers represent a philosophy of life beyond the image, a reminder of the importance of being able to see the 'depth', magic and 'sacredness' of small things. In front of his shots, we have no choice but to abandon any attempt at a rational interpretation of reality and instead allow ourselves to be accompanied in a wonderful flowering of emotions beyond time and space.

Visiting info

"Deep Blossom - Is it just a flower?" Until 24 July 2024. Gaggenau DesignElementi - Lungotevere de' Cenci 4, Rome. Opening hours: Monday-Friday 10.30 - 13.00 / 15.30 - 19.00. Visits open to the public by appointment only by e-mail ( or telephone (+390639743229 - +393711733120).