Galerie Nordenhake is very pleased to present the first solo exhibition in Sweden of German artist Michael Schmidt, one of Germany’s most important post-war photographers in the social and documentary field. Schmidt, who was born in 1945 and is self-taught, has exhibited widely in the international sphere, including two solo shows at MoMA, New York, where he also has a major upcoming retrospective.
Michael Schmidt first gained attention in 1984 with Berlin – Kreuzberg, a series of photographs of the neighborhood where he still lives. In many of his works he explores the architecture of urban landscapes, depicting apartment blocks, office buildings, as well as its inhabitants in an austere documentary style. Schmidt shows an excellence in black and white photography, as well as using the concept of series or sequences as a tool to generate an aesthetic vision.
The meticulously composed black and white photographs, with their rich nuances, come from a number of different series, including Irgendwo, Berlin – Kreuzberg, Waffenruhe, Stadtbilder and Berlin nach 1945. Typically for his Modus Operandi, Schmidt conflates architectural and landscape photographs with portraits and shots of seemingly unimportant details. It is only through the arrangement in groups – the interplay and dialogue between the images – that the individual images acquire their distinct meaning and the relation between spatial environment and individual biography comes into view.
Michael Schmidt has exhibited internationally in various prestigious contexts. Shows include Berlin Biennial for Contemporary Art (2006), Lindenau – Museum, Altenburg (2006), The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo (2005), Kunstverein Hanover (2005), Tate Modern (2003), MoMA (solo exhibition, 1996 and 1988, group, 2001 and 2000) , Museum Ludwig, Cologne (2001) and Sprengel Museum, Hannover (2000). Schmidt has realised several book publications with his works. Available are: “Irgendwo”, Köln 2005; “Berlin nach 45“, Göttingen 2005; “Frauen“, Köln 2000; “Landschaft – Waffenruhe – Selbst – Menschenbilder (Ausschnitte)“, Münster 1998 und “EIN-HEIT“, Berlin 1996