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Andreas Gursky, James Bond Island II, 2007. Courtesy Sprüth Magers Berlin London © Andreas Gursky, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn und Bildrecht, Wien, 2014


Landscape in my Mind

Landscape photography today. Hamish Fulton to Andreas Gursky

11.02.2015 - 26.04.2015

Elger Esser, Roghudi II, Italien 1998, C-Print, DiaSec Face, 140 x 180 cm  I/I (5). Courtesy Elger Esser. © Foto: Courtesy Elger Esser. © Bildrecht Wien, 2014/15Balthasar Burkhard, Stadt – L.A., 1999. Schwarzweiß-Fotografie auf Barytpapier, Auflage 1/3, 135 x 275 cm © Estate of Balthasar BurkhardJulie Monaco cs_02/2, 2005 C-Print auf Aluminium, 112,5 x 200 cm © Galerie Ernst Hilger, WienWalter Niedermayr, Mittel Allalin IV, 2000, C-Print, je 131,2 x 104,2 cm, dreiteilig © Courtesy Galerie Meyer Kainer, WienAxel Hütte, Alcácer, 1991, C-Print, 187 x 237 cm. © Courtesy Galerie Nikolaus Ruzicska, Salzburg und Axel Hütte / Schirmer/Mosel, MünchenSonja Braas, You Are Here #18, 1998, C-Print, Diasec, 95,5 x 75 cm, Courtesy Galerie Tanit, München. © Foto: Sonja Braas © Courtesy Sonja BraasJörg Sasse, 2729, 2012, C­Print, Diasec, Courtesy Galerie nächst St. Stephan Rosemarie Schwarzwälder, Wien / Vienna © Jörg Sasse / Bildrecht, Wien, 2015

In spring 2015, the Kunstforum Wien is presenting a comprehensive exhibition showing positions in contemporary landscape photography. “Landscape in my Mind” is a mental journey through different imaged articulations of the concept of landscape. The focus will be on contemporary neo-Pictorialist strategies: painterly tableaus in monumental format are placed in contrast to the sober objectivity of conventional black-and-white photos.

Thus Elger Esser, for instance, one of the leading proponents of the landscape genre, does not see himself primarily as an artist-photographer, but as a picture-maker and landscape painter, who realises his works using photographic media. Relationships are opened up to historical landscape painting from the Romantic Era to Impressionism, his favourite motifs being picturesque river landscapes and coastal regions with lashing waves. A further focus of the exhibition is on the landscape as an experiential space documented with the camera. Photographers such as the land-art artist Hamish Fulton or the former Becher pupil Axel Hütte see themselves here as wanderers and travellers through the world. Far-flung panoramas and dense primeval-forest situations unfold before our eyes. Photography has long ceased to be simply an objective medium reproducing reality, but in the digital age has become a means of alienation and manipulation. Andreas Gursky is a master of invisible manipulation by “collaging” diverse photographs of a selected motif in one and the same work – for instance fantastical island groups that might be from a James Bond film – thus creating a new reality. Gursky also plays with the phenomenon of escalated monumentality, of satiation and exaggerated emptiness. Cross-country runners and race cyclists shrink to become busy ant-like colonies in sublime mountain landscapes. Balthasar Burkhard’s black-and-white pictures of mega-cities evoke feelings that are cosmic throughout. The rampantly growing big city is the cultural landscape and living space of twentieth- and twenty-first-century people. In conclusion we float above the world and take to the heavens. Stellar maps as we know them for instance from Thomas Ruff’s constellation pictures dissolve the landscape into gravity-free space. The horizontally bound “landscape view” is replaced by a bird’s eye perspective onto the earth and water masses below. The “Mission Landscape” leads us ultimately to the planet of Mars – the next station in the infinite reaches of space.

curated by

Florian Steininger


Hubert Schmalix

06/05/2015 - 12/07/2015

previous exhibition


Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

The Path to Modernism

16/10/2014 - 25/01/2015

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