Aurora Argentina

June 1, 2012 – June 30, 2012

Daniel Blau Ltd. is pleased to present a unique collection of nineteenth century cyanotypes by Georges Poulet, in the first exhibition of its kind in the UK.


French engineer Georges Poulet’s (1848 – 1936) photographs of railway construction in Argentina convey a sense of the pioneering spirit characteristic of the nineteenth century. These cyanotypes depart from customary notions of documentary photography, taking the viewer on an intensely atmospheric journey through the largely unspoiled Argentina of the late nineteenth century. They also reveal a desire to record technological progress in an artistic way. The mysterious blues produced by the cyanotype process create a special ambience, while the captions written elegantly in red ink at the bottom of each photo provide an element of narrative and of contrast.


Scientist Sir John Frederick Herschel invented the cyanotype (more commonly known as the blueprint) in the early days of photography. Engineers and architects used it to reproduce technical drawings, maps and so forth; but artists also employed the technique and its influence is evident in their work.


Poulet employs the advantages of the cyanotype medium: its ability to reproduce reality, and the blue that is an integral part of it. Blue, of course, has a metaphorical dimension, symbolising longing for far-off places. In one of those distant regions we encounter the subject of Poulet’s series of cyanotypes: full of yearning, he shows us the railway in Argentina as in a dream, flooded in a melancholy blue.


Please join us for the opening of this exhibition on Thursday 31st May, 2012 from 6 – 9 pm at 51 Hoxton Square.

Abridged text from “Aurora Argentina”, an illustrated publication accompanying the exhibition and containing a complete catalogue of Poulet’s Argentinian cyanotypes.