In a series of black and white images of the German landscape made between 1987 and 1997, Michael Schmidt has forged a new pictorial language to deconstruct the world he observes. Concerned with light and form, Schmidt’s images contain a wealth of silver tones, a spectrum of rich greys which evolve from light to dark in mystical, imperceptible gradients. But the black and white filter is also a tool that allows Schmidt to neutralise the world, impeding the subjective perception of his viewer. It is through his editorial process, a process of montage, that Schmidt constructs an interior dialect, fashioning a self-contained world within the linear sequence of the book.
Michael Schmidt was born in 1945 in Berlin. He passed away in Berlin on 24 May, 2014, a few days after the printing of NATUR. Michael Schmidt produced some of the most significant bodies of photographs in the history of the medium and is renowned for his books, most notably, the projects Waffenruhe (1987), U-NI-TY (1996), Berlin nach 45 (2005), and Lebensmittel (2012). His solo exhibitions include ‘Lebensmittel’ Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin 2013 / Galerie im Taxispalais, Innsbruck 2012 / Museum Morsbroich, Leverkusen 2012; ‘Grey as Colour. Photographs until 2009’, Haus der Kunst, Munich (2010); ‘Frauen - EIN-HEIT - Menschenbilder’, at the Kunstverein in der Kunsthalle Dusseldorf (2000); and ‘U-NI-TY’, at the Museum of Modern Art, New York and Sprengel Museum, Hannover (1996). Recent group shows include ‘Consumption: the Fifth Prix Pictet Shortlist’, Victoria & Albert Museum, London (2014) and ‘The Encyclopedic Palace’, 55th Biennale, Venice (2013).