Elger Esser Germany, b. 1967

I pursue an emotional and less documentary approach to my photographs. In regards to the image composition, I give all the subject matter the room they need, so that they can be understood. For me it is more about their expression rather than description.

-Elger Esser


Six American Sunsets is the product of Elger Esser's residency with The Lapis Press in 2007. Photographed during road trips through Northern California and the Washington coast, the six views display the same searching gaze and masterly composition of his well-known landscapes of Western Europe and Africa. Esser captures in these images of the American West an element of an era steeped in the mythology of the past, the terminus of westward expansion. Setting his tripod near some of the same vistas that Edward Weston viewed decades before, Esser has created a body of work that honors traditional landscape photography while pursuing his own contemporary vision.

Six American Sunsets is Elger Esser's first published photographs of North America and stands as an impressive investigation of place and the history that it inhabits. The photographs evoke a haunting presence in their synchronicity of light and tone, their ethereal imagery hovering between classical landscape painting and photographic documentation.