January 17 – February 23, 2019
Yossi Milo Gallery is pleased to announce the premiere U.S. solo exhibition of photographic works by German artist Karl Martin Holzhäuser (b. 1944). Lichtmalerei opens on Thursday, January 17, with a reception for the artist from 6:00-8:00pm, and will close on Saturday, February 23. The show will feature Holzhäuser's vintage "light paintings" ("Lichtmalerei") from the 1980s and early 1990s, a period in which the artist was a chief practitioner of Concrete Photography.
Holzhäuser's "paintings with light" align themselves with the tenets of Concrete Photography as nonobjective pictorial worlds, devoid of any intentional reference to figuration or reality. Wielding "the light rake" ("Lichtrakel"), a light-emitting tool of his own fabrication, the artist exposes sensitized chromogenic photographic papers to light bands of varying color and width, building abstractions from a predetermined series of gestures. Holzhäuser works in total darkness without the benefit of seeing what has been exposed until after the picture is developed, making visible the gridded patterns or organic shapes mapped or memorized by the artist in advance.
"For me", the artist has stated, "photography is the creative use of light, period." Investigations into the interplay between tools and technique, chance and control, ground him in the strong tradition of experimentation within the history of German photography, exemplified first by the Bauhaus in the 1920s and conveyed into the twenty-first century by artists such as Marco Breuer. At the same time, with his photographic equipment he confronts formal concerns of a painter, such as gesture, mark-making and the methodical layering of color.
Works by Holzhäuser have been exhibited at the Vasarely Múzeum, Budapest, Hungary; Museum Modern Art, Hünfeld, Germany; Herforder Kunstverein, Herford, Germany; Kunstverein Speyer, Speyer, Germany; Galeria OKNO 2, Słubice, Poland and Djanogly Art Gallery, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK, among others. Holzhäuser's works are represented in the permanent collections of the Museum für Kunst und Geschichte, Fribourg; Fotografische Sammlung der Stadt Leinfelden, Leinfelden-Echterdingen; Marburger Kunstverein, Marburg; Artothek des Bielefelder Kunstvereins, Neumarkt; and DZ-Bank, Frankfurt. The artist currently lives and works in Bielefeld, Germany, where he was a professor at the University of Applied Sciences for more than three decades.