(above: Michael Lange, "#8953" from the series FLUSS)
We have long been fans of the photography of Michael Lange, ever since we saw his exhibition WALD (Forest) at a gallery on Auguststraße in Berlin, back in 2012. Now he has a new series, titled FLUSS (River) which is being shown at an exhibition at the Robert Morat Galerie in Hamburg until the 9th January 2016.
In many ways you can see the new collection as an extension of the photographs from the WALD series as once again the characteristic element in the photographs is the stillness and beauty of the natural world. The FLUSS series has also been published as a book by Hatje Cantz, and the press text from the release earlier in the year gives something of a flavour of the photographs contained within its pages:
With its scenic beauty and myth-enshrouded past, the Rhine has always been a popular subject in art and literature. One of the longest rivers in Europe, it inspired the masters of medieval panel painting as well as the Romanticists and the representatives of the classic modern era and contemporary art. Between 2012 and 2014, the photographer Michael Lange (*1953 in Heidelberg) devoted his attention to the waters of the Upper Rhine. Taken with a large-format camera, his photographs tell of the longing for tranquility and the desire to lose oneself: they present secluded places, areas of water veiled in fog and traversed by mysterious reflections, at dusk. Subtle shading and color gradation give rise to compositions of atmospheric density and intense clarity.
From the forest to the river, Michael Lange’s photography captures that moment that any wanderer through the trees or along the embankment can recognise. The soft mist above a still, glassy surface. The footpath after the rain, as drops continue to fall from the trees even as the sky begins to clear. A walk through the gloaming in what your city-battered ears think at first is silence but then, as you stand as still in the scene as if you had been captured by Lange’s camera, you realise that there are many, many sounds to be heard.
Just looking at the images of FLUSS or WALD makes you want to catch the train to the edge of the city and go for a walk. And in our world, that is the best compliment we can give to a writer, an artist or a photographer.
Michael Lange’s FLUSS is showing at the Robert Morat Galerie in Hamburg until 09.01.16. The book, with text in English and German, is published by Hatje Cantz and is out now.
Elsewhere editor Paul Scraton wrote about the previous collection - WALD - in December 2012 on his blog Under a Grey Sky.