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Master of Serenity

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Monumental body parts, vast dune landscapes and expansive cityscapes, stark black-and-white contrasts on baryte paper: such are the works of Balthasar Burkhard. The Folkwang Museum in Essen dedicates a retrospective to the Swiss master of large-format monochrome photography, open from 20 October 2017 to 14 January 2018.

The oeuvre of Balthasar Burkhard (1944–2010) not only illustrates the artist’s ongoing self-invention, but also demonstrates the evolution of the photographic medium in the latter half of the 20th century. Burkhard’s approach treats the body as a sculpture, and the photographic image as a canvas – making Burkhard one of the first artists to turn photography into a significant medium for contemporary art.

The retrospective traces the manifold aspects of Burkhard’s career: his beginnings as a photojournalist, his role as a chronicler of the contemporary art of his time, as well as his emancipation as an artist. The exhibition is the result of a collaboration between the Folkwang Museum, the Winterthur Museum of Photography, the Swiss Foundation of Photography, and the Museo d’Arte della Svizzera Italiana.

For further information visit Museum Folkwang und Balthasar Burkhard

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