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PORTFOLIO

13.09.2016

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Two trademarks that are inherently intertwined: Mack and Leica. So it seems apt that the work of leading photojournalist Ulrich Mack (born 1934) is now presented in a major retrospective at the Leica Gallery Frankfurt. Starting in the sixties, Ulrich Mack travelled the world commissioned by major magazines – always carrying up to six different M models. Each was equipped with a different lens, allowing him to react immediately to any situation. His documentation of John F. Kennedy’s visit to the Federal Republic in 1963 is now among his most well-known series, along with the sensational visual essay on wild horses in Kenya, first published in Willy Fleckhaus’s legendary Twen magazine. Mack’s time as a photojournalist for Quick (from 1963) was followed by a move to Stern, where he remained until 1973. The book Mack. Reporter, published last year, offers a fascinating overview of this decade as a classic photojournalist.

However, there are many more facets to the work of Ulrich Mack. His sensitive observation of landscapes was most recently illustrated in the outstanding photo-book Stille-Weite-Ferne-Nähe. He is an ambitious portrait photographer of artists, politicians and celebrities – and yet he has also created a timeless tribute to the inhabitants of Pellworm and Harkers Island in his long-term projects. In addition, he embraced experiments with instant photography and large-format cameras. It was this great diversity (which further includes his years as a lecturer at Dortmund University) that made it impossible for Ulrich Mack to remain a ‘best-kept secret’ of German photography history.

The comprehensive exhibition at the Leica Gallery Frankfurt is a profound illustration of the different aspects of the photographer’s thematically and stylistically multi-faceted work. Without a doubt, MACK is a world unto himself. Time and again he has reinvented himself, driven by curiosity, openness and empathy, combined with technical perfection and a unique artistic approach. Ulrich Rüter

The retrospective was conceptualised by Ulrich Mack together with Hans-Michael Koetzle. Visitors to the exhibition will also be able to purchase signed copies of the book publications Ruhrgebiet (2009), Kennedy in Berlin (2013), Stille – Weite – Ferne – Nähe (2014) and Mack. Reporter (2015).
John F. Kennedy with Konrad Adenauer, Berlin 1963
Wild horses on Mount Kenya, 1964
Beechwood logs, 1985
Friedensreich (Fritz) Hundertwasser, HfBK Hamburg, 1959
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