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Capturing the Essence of Space: Jonathan Ducrest’s “Sculpted Spaces”

Amidst the buzz of Palm Springs’ Modernism Week, a distinct exhibition promises to captivate the senses and transport attendees into a world of architectural wonder. Swiss photographer Jonathan Ducrest is set to unveil his inaugural U.S. exhibition titled “Sculpted Spaces” at The Shops at Thirteen Forty Five in Palm Springs, marking a pivotal moment in his illustrious career.

Ducrest’s journey into the realm of photography commenced at the tender age of 8, armed with a humble point-and-shoot camera gifted by his parents. It was amidst the breathtaking Swiss landscapes that his passion for capturing the interplay of light, form, and space was ignited, laying the foundation for his future endeavors.

"Face to Face" below was taken on Aspen Mountain. The chair lifts had broken and Jonathan liked the idea that they had stopped facing each other (hence the title "Face to Face".) This piece is often mistaken for a painting.

Having traversed continents, Ducrest eventually found himself drawn to the bustling streets of New York and the vibrant landscapes of Los Angeles. It was here that his keen eye for composition and cinematic flair flourished, establishing him as a luminary in landscape, travel, and urban photography. Despite his global success, Ducrest maintains a deep connection to his Swiss roots, dividing his time between Zurich and LA.

The centerpiece of Ducrest’s exhibition is his acclaimed series on La Muralla Roja, a postmodern architectural gem nestled in Calpe, Spain. Celebrating its 50th anniversary, this iconic apartment complex serves as a testament to the vision of Spanish architect Ricardo Bofill. Through Ducrest’s lens, the complex is imbued with a timeless allure, each photograph capturing the essence of its architectural grandeur under varying lighting conditions.

Reflecting on his passion for architectural photography, Ducrest eloquently articulates, “Photographing architecture is a captivating endeavor that blends artistry and precision. The symmetrical lines, intricate details, and grandeur of buildings have an irresistible allure that fuels my passion for capturing their essence through the lens.”

Beyond his exploration of La Muralla Roja, Ducrest’s exhibition also pays homage to the sun-soaked oasis of Palm Springs. His evocative series, born from years spent amidst the city’s iconic mid-century modern architecture, offers a glimpse into the timeless allure of this desert retreat. Among the featured works is “Ice Blue DeVille and Palms,” a captivating piece that epitomizes the fusion of elegance and nostalgia synonymous with Palm Springs.

“Sculpted Spaces” serves not only as a showcase of Ducrest’s artistic prowess but also as a platform for giving back to the community. A portion of the exhibition’s proceeds will benefit the Palm Springs Art Museum’s restoration efforts for the Aluminaire House, a seminal work by Swiss architect Albert Frey. For Ducrest, this philanthropic initiative represents a harmonious convergence of his passion for architecture, his Swiss heritage, and his desire to contribute to the preservation of cultural heritage.

The opening night reception on Saturday, February 17th promises to be a celebration of creativity, innovation, and philanthropy. Attendees will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in Ducrest’s mesmerizing world of “Sculpted Spaces” while mingling with the artist himself, who will be flying in from Zurich for the occasion.

As “Sculpted Spaces” graces the walls of The Shops at Thirteen Forty Five until April 30, 2024, it invites viewers to embark on a visual journey through the intersection of art and architecture. Jonathan Ducrest’s exhibition is not merely a collection of photographs; it is a testament to the enduring power of human creativity to shape the spaces we inhabit and the stories we tell within them.

There will be a book signing of  Lockdown LA on Saturday Feb 24th from 11am – 2pm at The Shops at 1345.

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