Artist: Vera Lutter
Venue: Max Hetzler, Berlin
Date: June 14 – July 26, 2014
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of Max Hetzler, Berlin
We are delighted to inaugurate an exhibition with works by Vera Lutter from the last four years in Goethestraße 2/3.
Vera Lutter’s fourth solo exhibition with Galerie Max Hetzler presents three of her latest work series. By using a camera obscura – a centuries-old technique that allows light falling through a tiny hole into a darkened room, projecting an upside-down, reverse image of the exterior world into the interior – she creates works which appear strangely alienated but familiar at the same time. Displayed as black and white negatives and due to an exposure process lasting days or even weeks, these unique photographs are void of any transient movement and show blurred, mirage-like silhouettes in front of an inky black sky. Despite their mystical appearance, one recognises many of the displayed places which often show well-known venues like the skyline of Manhattan, the Egyptian pyramids or the characteristic Renaissance architecture of Venice.
The works presented in this exhibition depict less recognizable subjects but still provoke a similar ambivalent feeling of familiarity and disconcertment. Reverently the building of the medieval abbey Maria Laach raises brightly from the dark background. The monastery complex, build in 1220, is a paragon for late German Romanesque architecture and its distinctive construction and spiritual aura attracts numerous visitors. But in Lutter’s photographs the place appears deserted. The long exposure time erases all temporary motions or reduces them to hazy contours with only the eight hundred years old facade of the church remains.
Quite by contrast, there are Lutter’s photographs of the radio telescope Effelsberg in the North Rhine-Westphalian town Bad Münstereifel. With a diameter of about 100 meters, the telescope is one of the largest of its kind and marks a milestone of technical progress. Lutter approaches the steel colossus from different angles as it stands in the tranquil landscape like a misplaced giant. Thus observed, the enormous dish of the telescope towers into the sky to explore distant gas and dust clouds, black holes and new stars. All of these works are characterised by a peculiar aesthetic that reminds us of X-rays or images from nightscopes.
In her most recent series Cold Spring Lutter chooses a rather unusual subject for her work, a forest, located in the Hudson Highlands northern of New York. Different to earlier works no architectural or industrial structures become apparent nor do the photographs portray developments of urban or global life, but mere pristine nature. Again, time becomes the most important parameter. Lutter’s specific technique allows her to capture an entire period of time rather than just a single moment. The light enables both the period of time as well as the occurring movement to become tangible. The dynamic, seemingly flowing contours of the forest floor and the brightly glowing transition from the horizon to the sky mark the specific interaction of light, motion and time that is so essential in Lutter’s work.
Simultaneously the gallery will be presenting the group show Halftone: Trough the Grid at the gallery space in Bleibtreustraße 45, organised by Pierre-Nicolas Bounakoff and Jean-Marie Gallais.
Vera Lutter, born 1960 in Kaiserslautern, lives and works in New York. Her works were presented in numerous solo exhibitions in international institutions, such as the Carré d’Art Musée d’Art Contemporain, Nîmes (2012); Fondation Beyeler, Basel (2008); Kunsthaus Graz (2004) and Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago (2002). Furthermore, she formed part of important group shows at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (2012); Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid (2010); Centre Pompidou, Paris (2009) and Museum of Modern Art, New York (2002), among others. Lutter’s works are represented in prominent collections, such as the Centre Pompidou, Paris; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Museum of Modern Art, New York and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.