Untitled (from Waffenruhe), 1985-87, gelatin silver print, framed by the artist, group of 9 photos, 4x (50.3 x 40.3 cm), 3x (50.5 x 60.3 cm) and 2x (90.3 x 70.3 cm)

Michael Schmidt

Michael Schmidt was born in 1945 in Berlin, where he died in 2014. His works can be found in national and international collections and have been presented in numerous solo and group exhibitions.

In 1976, Michael Schmidt founded the Werkstatt für Fotografie at VHS Berlin-Kreuzberg, which became a major forum for international discussions on photography in (West) Berlin. His epic series “Waffenruhe” (Ceasefire) has been exhibited in 1987 at Berlinische Galerie and in 1988 at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. In 1996 “Ein-heit” was shown for the first time at MoMA, New York under its English title U-ni-ty. Schmidt was the first German photographer to have a solo-exhibition at MoMA during his lifetime. In the same year “Ein-heit” was presented at Germany at Sprengel Museum Hanover. In 1995 a first survey exhibition of his work was on view at Museum Folkwang Essen, after the museum previously had shown exhibitions of Schmidt in 1981 and 1988. In 2010 Michael Schmidt presented his comprehensive survey exhibition “Grey as Colour. Photographs since 2009” at Haus der Kunst, Munich. “Lebensmittel” (Food) was presented in solo exhibitions at Museum Morsbroich, Leverkusen (2012), Galerie im Taxispalais, Innsbruck (2013) and at Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin (2013).

Michael Schmidt participated in the 55th Venice Biennial in 2013, and the Berlin Biennial in 2006 and 2010. In 2014 the artist was awarded with the Prix Pictet for “Lebensmittel”. The Prix Pictet exhibition "Consumption" was on view at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and then travelled extensively internationally. In 2016/2017 a joint exhibition project on “Werkstatt für Fotografie” was presented at Museum Folkwang, Essen, C/O Berlin and Sprengel Museum, Hanover. In 2018 the Volksbühne Berlin presented his renowned project “Waffenruhe” as a nocturnal projection on the façade of the Volksbühne.

The Foundation for Photography and Media Art with the Michael Schmidt Archive was founded in 1999, and since the artist’s death is organising and preserving the artist’s archive (www.archivmichaelschmidt.de). Since 2015 Thomas Weski is curator of the Michael Schmidt Foundation.
A retrospective of the artist's work, curated by Thomas Weski, will be on view at Nationalgalerie im Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin (23.8.2020 – 27.1.2021 ) and will travel to Galerie nationale du Jeu de Paume, Paris (11.5. – 29.8.2021), Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid (28.9.2021 – 28.2.2022), and Albertina Museum, Wien (24.3. – 12.6.2022). The retrospective will be accompanied by a comprehensive catalogue published by Koenig Books with essays by Ute Eskildsen, Janos Frecot, Peter Galassi, Heinz Liesbrock and Thomas Weski.

Selected Photo Books and Catalogues by the Artist:
Natur, MACK books, London 2014
Lebensmittel - Food, Snoeck Verlagsgesellschaft, Cologne 2012
89/90, Thomas Weski (Ed.), with a text by Chris Dercon, Cologne 2010
Berlin nach 45, Ute Eskildsen und Steidl Verlag (Ed.), Steidl Verlag Göttingen 2005
Irgendwo, Snoeck Verlagsgesellschaft, Cologne 2005
Ihme-Zentrum 1997/98, Karsten Heller and Thomas Scheibitz (Ed.), Berlin 2003
Frauen, Heinz Liesbrock and Thomas Weski (Ed.), Cologne 2000
Fotografien, Sammlung Bernd F Ku_nne, Hanover 1999
Landschaft-Waffenruhe-Selbst-Menschenbilder (Ausschnitte), Heinz Liesbrock (Ed.), Mu_nster 1998
Ein-heit, Thomas Weski (Ed.), Berlin 1996
Fotografien seit 1965, with a text by Ute Eskildsen, Museum Folkwang Essen, Essen 1995
Michael Schmidt, AR/GE Kunst Galerie Museum Bozen (Ed.), Bozen 1992
Mauern, Kunstverein Göttingen, Göttingen 1991
Michael Schmidt, Galerie Springer, Berlin 1990
Waffenruhe, Goethe-Institut München, Munich 1989
Waffenruhe, in collaboration with Einar Schleef, Berlinischen Galerie, Berlin 1987
Berlin-Kreuzberg. Stadtbilder, Bezirksamt Kreuzberg von Berlin, Berlin 1984
Benachteiligt, Senator von Gesundheit, Soziales und Familie, Berlin 1982
Stadtlandshaften 1981, Museum Folkwang Essen, Essen 1981
Berlin-Wedding, Stadtlandschaft und Menschen, Bezirksamt Wedding von Berlin, Berlin 1978
Berlin, Stadtlandschaft und Menschen, Stapp Verlag, Berlin 1978
Photographien, Galerie Springer, Berlin 1975
Berlin Kreuzberg, Erika Bräuel and Michael Schmidt (Ed.), Berlin 1973 

Installation view, "Michael Schmidt – Retrospective. Photographs 1965–2014", Hamburger Bahnhof - Museum für Gegenwart - Berlin 2020 / Nationalgalerie - Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Foto: Achim Kukulies, Düsseldorf

Installation view, "Michael Schmidt – Retrospective. Photographs 1965–2014", Hamburger Bahnhof - Museum für Gegenwart - Berlin 2020 / Nationalgalerie - Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Foto: Achim Kukulies, Düsseldorf

Installation view, "Michael Schmidt – Retrospective. Photographs 1965–2014", Hamburger Bahnhof - Museum für Gegenwart - Berlin 2020 / Nationalgalerie - Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Foto: Achim Kukulies, Düsseldorf

Triptychon II (from Waffenruhe), 1985-1987, gelatin silver print, framed by the artist, 3 photographs, 49.3 x 39 cm (left + right panel), 49.9 x 59.8 cm (middle panel)

Untitled (from Berlin Wedding), 1976-78, gelatin silver bromide print, toned gold, framed by the artist, 20,4 x 28 cm, framed 44,2 x 46,7 cm

Michael Schmidt, Untitled (from Portraits), 1992, gelatin silver bromide print, toned gold, framed by the artist, 82.5 x 66.5 cm, framed: 84 x 67.5 cm

Installation view "Michael Schmidt – WAFFENRUHE (CEASEFIRE) 1987", Volksbühne, Berlin 2018 (projection)

Installation view "Michael Schmidt – WAFFENRUHE (CEASEFIRE) 1987", Volksbühne, Berlin 2018 (projection)

Installation view "Michael Schmidt – WAFFENRUHE (CEASEFIRE) 1987", Volksbühne, Berlin 2018 (projection)

Untitled (from Waffenruhe), 1985 - 1987, gelatin silver print, framed by the artist, group of 9 photographs, overall dimensions 150.9 x 120.9 cm

Unitled (from Stadtbilder), 1982/2009, gelatin silver print, framed by the artist, 70.1 x 88.2 cm, framed 89.3 x 104.9 cm

Installation view "Michael Schmidt – Grau als Farbe (from Waffenruhe, 1985-1987)" Haus der Kunst, Munich 2010 (exhibition)

Untitled (from Waffenruhe), 1985-87, gelatin silver print, framed by the artist, group of 9 photos, 6x (50.3 x 40.3 cm), 2x (50.5 x 60.3 cm) and 2x (90.3 x 70.3 cm)

Untitled (from Lebensmittel), 2006-2010, installation view "Prix Pictet" exhibition at The Victoria & Albert Museum, London 2014

Untitled (from Lebensmittel), 2006-2010, gelatin silver prints and two C-prints, group of 9 photographs, framed by the artist, framed each 56.1 x 81.6 cm

Ihme Zentrum (Digital), 1997-98/2009, fine art inkjet print, framed by the artist, 147.2 x 189.2 cm, framed 162.6 x 202.1 cm

Untitled (from Frauen), 1997-1999, gelatin silver prints, framed by the artist, group of 7 photographs, 44 x 30 cm, framed each 60.2 x 49.8 cm

Untitled (from Frauen), 1997-1999, gelatin silver print, framed by the artist, group of 2 photographs, 59.6 x 49.6 cm, framed each 60.2 x 49.8 cm

Frauen, 1997-1999, installation view "Grau als Farbe" Haus der Kunst, Munich 2010

Untitled (from Landschaft), 2007, Gelatin silver print, framed by the artist, 76 x 100 cm, framed 95 x 118 cm

NATUR, 1989/2014, gelatin silver print, framed by the artist, 23.9 x 17.9 cm, framed 26.5 x 20.5 cm each

Untitled (from NATUR), 1987/2014, gelatin silver bromide print, toned gold, framed by the artist, 23.9 x 17.9 cm, framed 26.5 x 20.5 cm

Untitled (from NATUR), 1987/2014, gelatin silver print, framed by the artist, 23.9 x 17.9 cm, framed 26.5 x 20.5 cm

EIN-HEIT / (U-NI-TY), 1991-94, installation view "Of Mice and Men", 4th Berlin Biennial 2006 (with sculpture by Thomas Schütte)

Untitled (from EIN-HEIT), 1991-94, silver gelatin print, 50.6 x 34.6 cm

Untitled (from EIN-HEIT), 1991-94, gelatin silver print, 50.6 x 34.6 cm

Untitled (from 89/90), 1989-1990/2009, gelatin silver print, framed by the artist, 39.9 x 31.7 cm, framed 60.8 x 51.3 cm each, installation view Haus der Kunst "Grau als Farbe", Munich 2010

Untitled (from 89/90), 1989-1990/2009, gelatin silver print, framed by the artist, 39.9 x 31.7 cm, framed 60.8 x 51.3 cm

Untitled (from 89/90), 1989-1990/2009, gelatin silver print, framed by the artist, 39.9 x 31.7 cm, framed 60.8 x 51.3 cm

Untitled (from IRGENDWO), 2001-2004, gelatin silver print, framed by the artist, group of 9 photographs, 32.4 x 24.5 cm each

Untitled (from IRGENDWO), 2001-2004, gelatin silver print, framed by the artist, 32.4 x 24.5 cm each

Untitled (from Berlin, Kreuzberg), 1982, gelatin silver print, framed by the artist, 26.4 x 21.5 cm, framed 53 x 44 cm