Presentation

Michael Wolf has been observing life in the cities and cities? architectural structures for more than 15 years which resulted in a unique work.
In Hong Kong, he used to take pictures of the strikingly formalistic and severe buildings characterizing this megalopolis. The result of this ? which can be seen in the series  Architecture of Density - was almost abstract.
Michael Wolf?s interest for the people living in such spaces and their relations to the city increased by chance when he enlarged a detail of the glass buildings he was then photographing in Chicago. The series Transparent City  juxtaposes images from the buildings and pixellated details with blown-up details of the life within.
Wolf?s curiosity about accidentally captured  human situations led to work with the immense image archive of Google Street Views, made of « stolen » images. With great precision he isolated scenes from the streets of Paris. By framing and directing our gaze, Michael Wolf highlights the little habits of our urban lives with images capturing the humour, beauty and absurdity of daily life and raising the question of  constant surveillance of public spaces. Intrusion was already the main subject of the series Tokyo Compression made in the Tokyo underground.
If the series  Street View was partially taking place in France, however the French architecture was only indirectly evoked. Michael Wolf wanted to give his own vision of Paris as he had been divided his time between Hong-Kong and Paris for the last ten years. But the unceasing and frustrating point was : how is it possible to take original pictures of Paris when it has been so much photographed and by so many great photographers? How is it possible to give a different vision of a city which architecture has largely remained unchanged for more than a century?

Then came the idea of taking pictures of Parisian zinc roofs, existing since Haussmann?s nineteenth century restructuring and which are so particular, being one of the main characteristics of Parisian architecture and which distinguish from the roofs of other capitals all over the world.

Then Michael Wolf captured the top of the Parisian buildings, raised close to the chimneys, looking for different viewpoints. During Summer and Fall 2014 he visited dozens of high terraces and an astonishing series resulted from this, a series which tightly crops the local architecture and reveals dense patterns made of roofs, chimneys, buildings? edges. But as always in Michael Wolf?s work, human presence is not so far : if you do observe carefully the details of some pictures then you can guess life interfering in the most abstract photos such as either a silhouette behind a curtain, or a worker repairing a gutter or lovers? graffiti painted on a very high wall, very close to the sky.

Biography



Born in 1954 in Munchen.
Lives & works in Hong Kong and Paris.



EXHIBITIONS


2014

- BindWalls - Paris roofTops, La Galerie Particulière, Paris
- Eyes on the Street, Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati, USA
- The rush  Calm, Moments in the City, Fotomuseum den Haag, La Haye, The Nederlands
- Privat / Privacy, Schirn Kunsthalle, Francfort
- Web on the Wall, Robert Koch Gallery, New York
- The Photographers 2014, Beetles+Huxley Gallery, London
- About Portraits, Galerie Wouter van Leeuwen, The Nederlands
- Vichy Portait(s), Festival de Vichy, France
- The Real Toy Story, chi K11 art space, Shangaï
- Hong Kong Trilogy, 25 Books, Berlin
- Architecture of Density, Flowers Central , London
- Small God, Big City, M97 Gallery, Shangaï
- My Favourite Thing, Galerie Wouter van Leeuwen, The Nederlands
- Paris Abstract, Robert Koch Gallery, New York
- Perduti nel paesaggio, Mart Rovereto, Rovereto, Italia
- Urban Spirit, Christophe Guye Galerie, Zurich


2013

- Archicture of Density, Galerie Wouter van Leeuwen, Amsterdam
- Small God, Big City, 25 Books, Berlin
- Industrial Architecture, M97 Gallery, Shangaï
- Von A bis Z, Ruhr Museum, Essen
- Parallax, M97 Gallery, Shangaï


2012

- Bottrop Ebel 76, 25 Books, Berlin
- von sinnen: wahrnehmung in der zeitgenoessischen kunst», Kunsthalle zu Kiel, Kiel, Germany
- Street View Portraits, Galerie Wouter van Leeuwen, Amsterdam
- Total City, IVAM, Valence, Spain
- Public: collective identity | occupied spaces, The Museum of  Contemporary Canadian Art,
Toronto
- Making History, Frankfurter Kunstverein, Francfort
- Hong Kong and shenzhen biennial of urbanism/architecture, Hong Kong
- The Near and Elsewhere, PM Gallery, Londres
- Davos Art Exhibition, meeting of the world economic, Davos Switzerland
- Bamboo Theater Exhibition:  Portraits of cantonese opera singers, Museum M+, Hong Kong
- Highrise: Idea and Reality, Museum of Design, Zurich
- Virtual Identities, Centro di Cultura Contemporanea Strozzina, Fiorenza


2011

- Prix Pictet :  Growth : Gallery of Photography, Dublin ; Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington Arteversum, Dusseldorf ; Galleria Carla Sozzani, Milan ; galerie  Christophe Guye, Zurich ; Thessaloniki Museum of Photography, Thessaloniki, Grèce ; Passage de Retz, Paris
- Untitled, Flowers Central , London
- Fotodoks, Münchner Stadtmuseum, Munich
- Life in Cities, Galerie Christophe Guye, Zurich
- Infinite Balance: Artists and the Environment, Museum Photographic Arts, San Diego
- Real Fake Art / Tokyo Compression Revisited ? 25 books, Berlin
- Cities: Visionary Places, Torrance Art Museum, Los Angeles
- Metropolis. city life in the urban age 2011, Noorderlicht Photo Festival, Groningen, The Nederlands
- sifest #20, Savignano Immagini, Savignana Sul Rubicone, Italia
- sh contemporary, Shanghai
- Life in Cities, Gun Gallery, Stockholm
- Hail Traveler!, Rick Wester Fine Art, New York
- Summer in the City, Galerie Wouter van Leeuwen, Amsterdam
- NY Temporary: the City through Photography, Film and Video, Museum Center of Photography, New York
- Street Photography Now, Uno Art Space, Stuttgart
- 10 years, Galerie Wouter van Leeuwen, Amsterdam
- Metropolis, Robert Koch Gallery, San Francisco
- I?m watching you, Elipsis Gallery, Istanbul
- Fear in the City, Monnaie de Paris, Paris
- Tokyo Compression, Forum für Fotografie, Koln


2010

- We are watching You, La Galerie Particulière, Paris
- I see you, Bruce Silverstein Gallery, New York
- Paris Street View, Hong Kong, Goethe Institut
- 12 ème Biennale Internationale d?Architecture, Venise, Pavillon de Hong Kong
- Paris Street View/Tokyo Subway Dreams, Galerie Wouter van Leeuwen, Amsterdam          
- Paris Street View/Tokyo Subway Dreams, Gallery 51 Fine Art, Anvers
- Life in cities, M97 Gallery, Shanghai


2009

«Transparent City/Architecture of Density»
- La Galerie Particulière, Paris
- Julie Saul Gallery, New York
- Atelier Elipsis, Istanbul
- Entropy Art, Naples
- Aperture Gallery, New York
- Gallery Wouter van Leeuwen, Amsterdam
- Gallery 51 Fine Art, Anvers
- Stephen Daiter Gallery, Chicago
- Landscape as Dream (Group show), Studio la Citta, Verone


2008

- Transparent City, Museum for Contemporary Photography, Chicago
- Robert Koch Gallery, San Francisco
- Hong Kong Back Door, Lumenvisum Gallery, Hong Kong
- The Real Toy Story/Architecture of Density, China Design Now, London
- Eastern Standard, Western Artists in China, Mass MoCA, North Adams,USA
- Herita ge, Hong Kong Corner Houses, Goethe Institute, Hong Kong
- Real Fake Pictures/Architecture of Density, Galerie Wouter van Leeuwen, Amsterdam


2007

- Pieces of China - A Retrospective of Michael Wolf?s China Projects (catalog), Museum Center, Vapriikki, Tampere, Finland
- Two Photographers in a Dialog : Architecture of Density, with Stephen Canham?s, Traveling Gypsie?s Homes, Hallische Gallerien, Dresden
- Real Fake Art/100 x 100, Robert Koch Gallery, San Francisco
- China Projects/100 x 100, Real Fake Art, The Real Toy Story, M97 Gallery, Shanghai
- Fake ? Portraits of Chinese Copy Art, Goethe Institute, Hong Kong,
- Hong Kong Industrial, Ursula Huber Gallery, Basel
- New Urban Vistas, Arthur Roger Gallery, New Orleans


2006

- Architecture of Density/Architecture of Work, Art Fair Kunst Zürich, Gallery Huber, Zürich
- Gallery 51 Fine Art, Paris Photo, Paris
- Artspace 1918 (exposition de groupe), Shanghai Biennale, Shanghai
- 798 Photo Gallery, Beijing
- Janet Oh Gallery, Séoul
- Hasted-Hunt Gallery, New York
- Artspace 1918, Shanghai
- Architecture of Density/China Copy Artists, Gallery 51 Fine Art, Antwerp
- 100 x 100, Gallery of the Goethe Institute, Hong Kong
- Daegu Photo Biennale, Daegu, Corée
- Gallery Laif, Cologne, Germany
- The Real Toy Story, Museum for Work, Hambourg, Germany
- Hong Kong Architecture, Robert Koch Gallery, AIPAD, New York
- Sitting in China», Kap Forum, Cologne, Germany
- New Work from Hong Kong, Robert Koch Gallery, San Francisco


2005

«Architecture of Density»
- Robert Koch Gallery, San Francisco
- Robert Koch Gallery, Art Basel, Bâle
- Ping Yao Photography Festival, Ping Yao, China
- Useful, Cute and Collected. The Photographed Animal, Museum Folkwang, Essen
- Hong Kong : Front Door/Back Door, Galerie Colette, Paris


2004

- Truth! - Photographyies Promise of Reality, Ruhland Museum, Essen, Germany
- The Real Toy Story, John Batten Gallery, Hong Kong


2003

- Sitting in China, Kestner Museum, Hanovre


2000

- Peking Shanghai Shenzhen : Cities of the 21st century, Bauhaus Museum, Germany



CATALOGS


2013

- Hong Kong trilogy, Pepperoni books, 2013


2012

- Tokyo Compression - III, Peperoni Books
- Samall Gods Big City, Peperoni Books
- Bottrop Eeel 1976, Peperoni Books


2011

- Tokyo Compression - revisited, Peperoni Books
- Tokyo Compression, Peperoni Books
- Portraits, Superlabo
- Fy, Peperoni Books
- Real Fake Art, Peperoni Books
- Hong Kong Corner Houses, Hong Kong University Press


2010

- A series of Unfortunate Events, Peperoni Books
- Growth, Prix Pictet, Teneues Verlag



COLLECTIONS

- La Monnaie de Paris, France
- The Metropolitan Museum Of Art, New York
- Brooklyn Museum, New York
- San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose, USA
- Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago
- Museum Folkwang, Essen, Germany
- Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee
- Microsoft Art Collection, Redmond
- German Museum for Architecture, Frankfurt, Germany

Learn more

Press

Les Toits de Paris

28.02.2015

Télérama Sortir

Michael Wolf, sur le zinc

18.02.2015

Libération

Blind Walls - Paris RoofTops

11.02.2015

Télérama Sortir

Là où se niche la poésie

21.01.2015

Télérama Sortir