fotoMAGAZIN Bild Reportage

American Dreams

September 2022

Original Text Tom Seymour

Excerpt of the article and print version in   fotoMAGAZIN
on German Photographers in New York City (rough translation into English) original article pdf , see below

(Horst Hamann, Martin Schoeller, Nina Welsh-King and Renate Aller)

The World Citizen

Renate Aller was born in Germany and has lived in New York since 1999. “I moved from London to New York on the Lower East Side with my husband,” she says. “We lived in Mark Rothko’s former studio.

It must be every young European’s dream to enter ones downtown loft via an old freight elevator and host dinners on long worktables that go on until late at night with other artists, writers and friends. Since then, Aller has made a career with her photography. The New-York Historical Society Museum just mounted a solo exhibition of her photographs “side walk 6′ apart in NYC”. A photo book of the same title is being published by Kehrer Verlag.

“I never thought in my wildest dreams that I would ever have a solo show in a New York museum,” she says.

Works by the photo artist are now in the collections of the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., the Yale University Art Gallery in Connecticut and the Hamburger Kunsthalle and many others.

Germany will always be on Renate Aller’s mind and she says : . ” Because of the pandemic it has been harder to travel and I miss my German friends and fellow artists. Long walks on the northern shores and the special light you can experience only there. “ Over the many years I have become an international citizen and New York City allows one to be just that. ” she continues.

Aller believes that the New York mentality has enabled her to develop a polyphonic photographic language. But first, it all started in London. “As far as I understand, in German Photo schools one is encouraged to work under a professor and adopt their style” and she says further “During my years studying in London, I was exposed to works of Lorna Simpson whose multi-image and multimedia installations were among the first I ever encountered. My personal tutor and adviser, Robin Klassnik of Matt’s Gallery helped me to learn how to read the “language” of various art forms but at the same time discover and develop my own.” This development continued on the other side of the Atlantic. “Institutions in the US have been very supportive to allow me to create immersive room experiences and given me the trust to create site-specific works, mainly in public spaces, reacting to the specifics of the physical as well as cultural and sociological conditions of the locations. “ she says “It has become an important part of my work”.

Renate Aller (born 1960 in Hamburg)

Mountains, deserts, eternal ice, archaic landscapes. Renate Aller became internationally known with epic landscape photos and image pairings that contrast two very different types of land: The ocean and the desert. The diptych below „Atlantic Ocean, USA 2010“ und „Grey Glacier, Patagonia, Chile, 2019“ from the Photobook “The Space Between Memory and Expectation” (Kehrer Verlag)

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