Michael Schmidt: A new German Perspective

On the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the birth of Michael Schmidt, the Jeu de Paume presents an important retrospective of this artist, considered one of the greatest pillars of the history of 20th-century German art.

A tribute to a great photographer, this exhibition will feature originals, prints of unpublished works, book projects and other archives that illustrate the evolution of his artistic work. It also wants to highlight the process of recognizing photography as a form of artistic expression in Germany and Europe since the 1970s.

Like Bernd and Hilla Becher, Michael Schmidt is one of the most influential post-war photographers. He has tirelessly developed his own work for five decades. Through the publication of his works in the form of artist’s books and installations always in dialogue with their place of exhibition, he has developed different types of innovative presentation. By constantly renewing his formal language and choosing his themes, Michael Schmidt wrote a part of the history of photography and is today a model for an entire generation of young photographers.

This retrospective has been and will be presented at Nationalgalerie im Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart in Berlin, at Jeu de Paume in Paris, at Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid and at Albertina in Vienne.
This exhibition is part of the “Plein Soleil, l’été des centres d’art contemporain” operation. Overview of his oeuvre from 1965 to 2014.

About the Author

Michael Schmidt (6 October 1945 – 24 May 2014) was a German photographer. His subjects of interest were Berlin and “the weight of German identity in modern history.”

A portrait of Michael Schmidt

In 1965 Schmidt began photographing the streets, buildings and people of West Berlin in a semi-documentary approach. He went on to make a series of “ambitious projects” there, all in black and white and becoming more impressionistic, until his death in 2014.Each project was exhibited, then published as a book. Schmidt was a member of the Düsseldorf School of Photography.
In 1976, he founded the Werkstatt für Photographie (Workshop for Photography) in Berlin.
U-nit-y was exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City in 1996, Frauen was shown at the Berlin Biennale in 2010 and Lebensmittel, a series about the global food industry, at the Venice Biennale in 2013.[ A retrospective of his work was held at Haus der Kunst in Munich in 2010. His book Waffenruhe (1987) was included in Parr and Badger’s The Photobook: A History, Volume II.He died in 2014, a couple of days after winning the Prix Pictet for Lebensmitte (via Wikipedia.org)

Michael Schmidt: Une autre photographie allemande
June 8 – August 29, 2021
Jeu de Paume

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