MICHAEL SCHMIDT AT MITCHELL-INNES & NASH, CHELSEA MARCH 7
NEW YORK CITY â Mitchell-Innes & Nash is presenting an exhibition of photographs by Michael Schmidt in its Chelsea gallery through April 12. This marks the first solo show in an American gallery for this important postwar German photographer and includes groupings of works from series such as âWaffenruhe (Ceasefire),âÂ âEin-heit (U-ni-ty)â and âFrauen (Women),â as well as individual images from âStadtbilder (Cityscapes)â and âNaturbilder (Landscapes).â
Schmidtâs images are concerned with the burden of history and the uncertainty of memory. In his photographs of urban architecture, he provides a formally balanced but menacing portrait of the modern metropolis. These flawless, faceless poured-concrete forms contrast with Schmidtâs stark images of German youth and middle age. Schmidt often appropriates images, rephotographing artwork, film stills and old newspaper photos. In his photo essays and exhibition he creates sequences and groupings of photographs that tell more in tandem than they ever could apart.
Schmidt was born in 1945 in East Berlin, but his family moved to the cityâs west side before the Berlin Wall went up. Trained as a policeman, he taught himself photography an began taking photographs in 1965. In 1976, he founded the Werkstatt fur Photographie (Workshop for Photography) where he served as director from 1976 to 1978. Schmidtâs project âWaffenruheâ was shown at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1988, and his work âEin-heitâ was exhibited there in 1996.
The Tate Modern in London and the Sprengel Museum in Hanover have also shown his photographs.
Schmidt lives and works in Berlin, where his work was featured in the 2006 Berlin Biennial.
Mitchell-Innes & Nash, Chelsea is at 534 West 26th Street. For more information, www.miandn.com or 212-744-7400.