← back to Artists

Short Bio 
CV, Bibliography as PDF


Berlin, April 2016
Berlin, March 2012
Berlin, May 2009
Stockholm, November 2007
Berlin, October 2006

Michael Schmidt

Image No. 1 of Michael Schmidt

Triptychon II (from Waffenruhe), 1985-1987, gelatin silver print, 3 photographs, framed by the artist,49.1 x 38.9 cm (right panel), 49.9 x 59.8 cm (middle panel), 49.3 x 39 cm (left panel), Edition of 12 + 3 AP

Image No. 2 of Michael Schmidt

Frauen, 1997-1999, gelatin silver print, each 59.6 x 49.6 cm, framed 60.2 x 49.8 cm, Edition of 5 + 1 AP, installation view at Haus der Kunst, Munich, 2010

Image No. 3 of Michael Schmidt

Unitled (from Frauen), 1997-1999, gelatin silver print, groupe of 2 photographs, each 59.6 x 49.6 cm, framed 60.2 x 49.8 cm, Edition of 5 + 1 AP

Image No. 4 of Michael Schmidt

Untitled (from Lebensmittel), 2006-2010, gelatin silver bromide prints and two C-prints, group of 9 photographs, framed by the artist, each 55.2 x 81.6 cm, framed 56.1 x 81.6 cm, Edition of 5 + 1 AP

Image No. 5 of Michael Schmidt

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

Image No. 6 of Michael Schmidt

Untitled (from Waffenruhe), 1985-87, Gelatin silver print, framed by the artist, Block of 9 photos, each 49.4 x 39.2 cm framed, 50.3 x 40.3 cm, Overall dimensions, 150.9 x 120.9 cm, Ed of 12 + 3 AP

Image No. 7 of Michael Schmidt

Unitled (from Stadtbilder), 1982/2009, gelatin silver print, 70.1 x 88.2 cm, framed 89.3 x 104.9 cm, Edition of 5 + 1 AP

Image No. 8 of Michael Schmidt

Irgendwo, 2001-2004, gelatin silver print, 32.35 x 40.75 cm, framed 40.4 x 49.7 cm, Edition of 6 + 1 AP

Image No. 9 of Michael Schmidt

Irgendwo, 2001-2004, silver bromide gelatine print golden tinted, 32.35 x 40.75 cm, framed 40.4 x 49.7 cm, Edition of 6 + 1 AP

Image No. 10 of Michael Schmidt

Untitled (from NATUR), 1989/2014, gelatin silver bromide, print, toned gold, 23.9 x 17.9 cm, framed 26.5 x 20.5 cm, Edition of 4

Image No. 11 of Michael Schmidt

Untitled (from Natur), 1989-1990/2009, gelatin silver print, 69.9 x 55.5 cm, framed 81.5 x 67 cm, Edition of 4

Image No. 12 of Michael Schmidt

Untitled, (from Berlin, Stadtbilder), 1976-77 / 2002, gelatin Silver Print, framed by the artist, 34.6 x 38.9 cm, framed 60.5 x 72.7 cm, Ed. 3 of 6 + 1AP

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. In 1987 he exhibited Waffenruhe (Ceasefire) at Berlinische Galerie. In 1988 the Museum of Modern Art, New York presented the work in the exhibition „New Photography 4". In 1996 Ein-heit was shown for the first time at MoMA, New York under its English title U-ni-ty. This was the first solo-exhibition of a German photographer at MoMA since decades. In the same year, Ein-heit was presented for the first time in 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. A joint exhibition project on “Werkstatt für Fotografie” was presented at Museum Folkwang, Essen, C/O Berlin and Sprengel Museum, Hanover in December in 2017.

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). Thomas Weski, curator of the Michael Schmidt Foundation, is currently working on a retrospective of the artist’s work at Nationalgalerie Berlin in 2020.


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