The Robert Koch Gallery proudly unveils its fourth exhibition featuring the works of Hungarian artist Tamas Dezsö. His latest series, titled Hypothesis: Everything is Leaf, embarks on a philosophical journey that intertwines human identity with the natural world, exploring themes of materiality, temporality, and ecological consciousness.
Hypothesis: Everything is Leaf includes vibrant, large-scale botanical abstractions translated from slides of microscopic plant studies. The viewer is able to newly appreciate the complex and elegant anatomy of plant life. A lush, close-up image of a wildly intertwining garden, neglected for decades, reveals plants’ uncanny ability to persist without human aid. Dezsö’s work brings to light an appreciation for plant life’s extraordinary structure and capabilities, not dissimilar to human characteristics such as the ability to grow, reproduce, respond to stimuli, undergo metabolism, maintain homeostasis, and adapt to our environment.
Initially inspired by the writings of 17th-century German philosopher Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, Dezsö explores the idea that each leaf embodies the entire Universe. The series prompts reflection on human and vegetal identity, as explored by thinkers such as John Locke and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Dezsö comments on the influence of these philosophers, particularly Locke, who questioned the essence of human and vegetal existence. The exhibition encourages a reevaluation of plants’ significance in the face of the climate crisis, emphasizing their role in sustaining the planet and our interconnectedness as living organisms, a part of a greater whole.
Tamas Dezsö’s work has been exhibited worldwide, including at the Robert Capa Contemporary Photography Center, Budapest, Hungary; the Shanghai Museum of Contemporary Art; FOAM Photo Museum, Amsterdam; New Mexico Museum of Art, Santa Fe, New Mexico; the Hungarian Cultural Institute, Bratislava, Slovakia; and the Helsinki Photography Biennial, Helsinki, Finland, among others. His photographs have appeared in The New York Times, Le Monde magazine, Harpers magazine, and many other publications. Tamas Dezsö was nominated for the 2012 Prix Pictet award. The artist’s monograph, Notes for an Epilogue, was published by Hatje Cantz in 2015.