Press Release

JANUARY 24, 2008: NEW YORK - - Mitchell-Innes & Nash is pleased to present an exhibition of photographs by Michael Schmidt in its Chelsea gallery from March 7 through April 12, 2008. This will mark the first solo show in an American gallery for this important post-war German photographer and will include groupings of works from series such as Waffenruhe (Ceasefire) and Frauen (Women), as well as individual images from Stadtbilder (Cityscapes) and Naturbilder (Landscapes). Schmidt's images are concerned with the burden of history and the uncertainty of memory. In his photographs of urban architecture, which are not simply physical landscapes but social ones as well, he provides a formally balanced but menacing portrait of the modern metropolis. These flawless, faceless poured-concrete forms contrast with Schmidt's stark images of German youth and middle age. In his work, Schmidt often appropriates images, re-photographing artwork, film stills and old newspaper photos. The meaning of Schmidt's photography lies in the interplay between adjacent images. In his photo essays and exhibitions, he creates sequences and groupings of photographs that tell more in tandem than they ever could apart. The rich variety of German photography is apparent in this work, which draws equally on August Sander's portraiture and Bernd and Hilla Bechers' seriality. About the Artist: Michael Schmidt was born in 1945 in East Berlin, but his family moved to the city's west side before the Wall went up. Trained as a policeman, he taught himself photography and began taking photographs in 1965. In 1976, he founded the Werkstatt für Photographie (Workshop for Photography) overlooking the Berlin Wall. He served as its director from 1976 to 1978 and continued to teach there afterwards, influencing younger German photographers, among them Andreas Gursky. Schmidt's breakthrough project Waffenruhe was shown at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1988, and his pivotal work Ein-heit 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. He is represented by Galerie Nordenhake in Berlin and Stockholm. Listing Information: Mitchell-Innes & Nash, Chelsea: 534 West 26th Street T: (212) 744-7400 Gallery Hours: Tues-Sat, 10am – 6pm Opening reception: Friday, March 7, from 6 – 8pm