EXHIBITIONS / 2008 / BERLIN

AXEL HüTTE

Fog & Fire
BERLIN
May 03 2008 – Jul 12 2008
/ ENGLISH / DEUTSCH
PRESS RELEASE
Galerie Wilma Tolksdorf presents Axel Hütte for the first time in its Berlin space.

In search of his motifs, Axel Hütte travels the world. Under the title Fog & Fire, the renowned
photo artist continues his cycle of landscapes, once again taking up the theme of fog and smoke.
These most recent works were photographed mainly in New Mexico and Central and South America.

Axel Hütte approaches his carefully composed works with very clear visual ideas. Sometimes he waits for days for the right light. As he explained in an interview, the goal for him "is not to reproduce small structures one-on-one", but rather "the greatest possible atmospheric condensation". He achieves this beautifully in his new works. His landscapes are constructed in such a way that the standpoint of the photographer remains unclear, forcing the beholder to establish his or her own relationship to the landscape. This is all the more the case here, since, as so often in Hütte?s landscapes, there are no people and indeed no human traces visible. Furthermore, the view is always limited by fog or smoke so that we cannot see the width and depth of the landscape ? we can only grasp it emotionally. There is nothing anecdotal about his works, they do not tell stories. Rather, Hütte says, they show "the standstill of time", leaving the beholder plenty of room for his or her own associations. Thus, for example, in the case of the photographs of fog, it remains completely unclear at what time of day and in what season they were taken. They do indeed seem as if they had fallen out of time. Similarly, the fire photographs don not show what might have caused the fires, and they too seem timeless and, perhaps surprisingly, very calm and not particularly dramatic.

The two works at the beginning of the exhibition, the mountain landscapes Geltenham and
Sandia Mountains are conventional C-prints, familiar from Axel Hütte?s work, because here he can achieve the greatest possible clarity and an unsurpassed richness of detail. The artist wants to show the hard structure of the mountains.

The fog and fire pictures are very different. These five works are not C-prints on photo-paper, but rather Ditone-prints on natural paper ? a technique the artist uses for the first time here. The rougher surface of the paper is much more sensual and soft, and therefore ideally suited for the melancholy fog photographs and the impressive fire pictures. Thus, Hütte achieves a specific aesthetic effect through his choice of paper. The contrast between these two techniques contributes greatly to the aesthetic appeal of this exhibition.

Axel Hütte is one of the internationally most renowned photo artists. His works are represented in the most important collections around the world. Born in 1951 in Essen, he lives and works in Düsseldorf.
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