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About Wintergarten Ltd

Born: (Parker Davis) 1983

Lives and works in Los Angeles


The School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, USA

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Wintergarten Ltd

Practice: photography

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 The use of found photography in art is hardly new, but a practice that consists almost entirely of images plucked from obscurity is, perhaps, something a little different.

The duo of LA-based artists working under the collective name Wintergarten Ltd - Parker Davis and an anonymous associate - use found amateur snapshots as a means of exploring themes, narratives and theories that interest them, while also distancing themselves from the cult of creative personality that has come to define recent contemporary art.

In this respect, their practice differs subtly though substantially from the appropriation strategies undertaken by artists such as Richard Prince; Wintergarten Ltd make no specific claim on renewal or authorship, but simply allocate their materials loosely defined thematic contexts - as diptychs, slideshows, catalogues or collections - in which much of the photographs' original autonomy is retained.

A cynical view of this working method could simply deem it a gathering of charismatic imagery and little else besides; but there's a certain humility to Wintergarten Ltd's undertaking which seems as important as their end results.

Indeed, the name Wintergarten refers to the German term for 'conservatory', in origin an elaborate, wrought-iron hothouse popularised in the 19th century as a protective environment for rare and vulnerable plants. Wintergarten Ltd's slight interventions ensure that the fragile, discarded beauty they unearth will be preserved for some time to come.

Added Jan 2011

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