Peter Granser2019-04-16T11:18:12+00:00
Peter Granser, The Urban Residential Area, Heaven in Clouds, 2009–2012

Peter Granser

*1971 in Hanover

since 2000 self-taught training in the area of artistic photography
2013-19 stays of several months in Japan and Taiwan
(residences and research trips)
since 2015 ITO project space, Stuttgart
2002 Arles Discovery Award
2004 Leica Oskar Barnack Award (for “Coney Island”)
Deutscher Fotobuchpreis (German Photobook Prize) (for “Sun City”)
2006 Grant from the Kunststiftung Baden-Württemberg
2009 Funding VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn
2011 Advancement Award Dr. Helmut Kraft Stiftung zur Förderung der Kunst
2013 Artist-in-Residence Studio Kura/Project funding by the Austrian Cultural Forum Tokio
2014 Award from Stiftung Buchkunst “Die schönsten Deutschen Bücher” (Best book design from all over the world) (for “J’ai perdu ma tête”)
2016 Nomination for Shpilman International Prize for Excellence in Photography
2018 Funding for artist book from the Stiftung Kunstfonds
2003 “Sun City”, Photo Espana, Madrid, ES
2006 “Fotoserien 2000 – 2005”, Kunsthalle Tübingen, DE
“Coney Island”, Galerie Kamel Mennour, Paris, FR
2007 “Signs”, Kunststiftung Baden-Württemberg, Stuttgart, DE
2009 “Alzheimer”, Kunstzeughaus, Rapperswil-Jona, CH
2010 “J’ai perdu ma tête”, Pole Image, Rouen, FR
2012 “J’ai perdu ma tête”, Guislain Museum Ghent, BE
2013 “Was einem Heimat war”, Galerie der Stadt Reutlingen, DE
2014 “Peter Granser”, La Chambre, Straßburg, FR
“Schattefelder”, Itoshima Arts Farm Festival 2014, JP
2016 “Alzheimer”, Kunsthal Rotterdam, NL
2017 “I Walked Into a Cave and Up To Paradajs”, ITO project space, Stuttgart, DE
2019 “Heaven in Clouds”, Galerie der Stadt Konstanz, DE
2007 “Brave Lonesome Cowboy”, Villa Merkel, Esslingen, DE
“Fabrizio/Voit/Granser”, La Filature, Mulhouse, FR
2008 “Ein Leben lang”, NGBK, Berlin, DE
“This Land Is Your Land”, Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, US
2009 “Labour/Arbeit”, Kunsthalle Winterthur, CH
2010 “Divine Connections”, Zeughaus Augsburg, DE
2011 “The Art of Caring”, Art Museum, Fort Lauderdale, US
2012 “Zeigen”, Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe, DE
2013 “Concrete”, Fotomuseum Winterthur, CH
2014 “Das große Reinemachen”, Kunsthaus Nürnberg, DE
2015 “kijk:papers”, Warte für Kunst, Kassel, DE
2016 “Die schönsten Bücher”, Frankfurter Buchmesse, DE
2017 “10 Jahre Abt-Straubinger-Stiftung”, Galerie Abtart, Forum Kunst Rottweil, DE
»Rara«, La Erre, Guatemala City, GT
2018 “The Origin”, Art Museum Vensi & Dr Guislein Museum at KT&G SangSang Seoul, KR
“10 Jahre Abt-Straubinger-Stiftung”, Spinnerei Leipzig Halle 14, DE
2019 “Beauty by Sagmeister & Walsh”, MAK Museum Wien, AT / MAK Museum Frankfurt, DE
“Kubus. Sparda-Kunstpreis”, Kunstmuseum Stuttgart, DE
2003 “Sun City” (Benteli)
2005 “Alzheimer” (Kehrer/Edition Galerie Mennour)
2006 “Coney Island” (Hatje Cantz/Edition Galerie Mennour)
2008 “Signs” (Hatje Cantz/Museum of Contemporary Photography Chicago)
2014 “J’ai perdu ma tête” (Edition Taube)
2016 “El Alto” (Edition Taube)
2017 “I Walked Into a Cave and Up To Paradajs” (Edition Taube)
2019 “Heaven in Clouds” (Edition Taube)

Kunstmuseum Stuttgart (DE), Staatsgalerie Stuttgart (DE), Sammlung Klein (Eberdingen-Nussdorf, DE), Guislain Museum Ghent (BE), Fotomuseum Winterthur (CH), ARTIUM Centro-Museo Vasco de Arte Contemporáneo (Vitoria-Gasteiz, ES), Houston Museum of Fine Arts (US), Worcester Art Museum (US)

Portrait Sinje Dillenkofer - Kubus. Sparda Kunstpreis 2019

Mirror of society – man between city and nature


Peter Granser is a self-taught photographer, who began his career as a photojournalist. The main themes of his photo series, which he publishes as photo books, are the socio-cultural and political constitution of societies, as well as the question of individuality and identity within them. With his works, he inspires his viewers to reflect on contemporary consumer behavior and its effects. In doing so, he examines how humans relate to both their artificial environment and nature.

Peter Granser, Forest (Triptych), 2016

The city and the world of nature are the two poles between which the human existence is shown to oscillate on a rational and emotional level. The documentary, narrative photographs of the series “Heaven in Clouds” (2009–12), which provide insights into life in a Chinese metropolis, are juxtaposed with the more contemplative and personal nature shots from the three series “I Walked into a Cave and up to Paradajs,”, “20 Million Years and 1/60th of a Second“, and “Schatten/Felder” (Shadows/Fields) from 2013 to 2016.

Consequences of urban growth

“Heaven in Clouds” visualizes a moment of political, ecological, and social development, such as that which results from the rapid urbanization orchestrated by the Chinese state. Here, China is representative for a global trend, driven by the global economy. Granser often places the viewers within the work via the chosen perspectives and staging of the photographs, inviting them to reflect on the situation. He portrays an urban landscape, which is marked by skeletons of buildings under construction and disappears in the smog. In addition to the obvious problem of air pollution with its harmful consequences for health and the environment, the large number of residential towers also refers to the question of the social fabric. The speed with which cities are expanded and people from different regions are attracted makes it difficult to develop common basic values and a community based on these. Provisional and muddy access roads, as well as the fissures and cracks in the buildings’ façades, crudely patched with insulating tape, refer to the resulting tensions.

The photographs depicting the city are contrasted with large-format, abstract images of converging lights. They speak associatively of the often-diffuse hope for a fulfilled existence and better living conditions. The lights are emitted by LED advertising signs, and the poetic color gradient is only possible through smog.

Peter Granser, Night Sky 015364, Heaven in Clouds, 2009–2012
Peter Granser, Cave #1, 2016

Transcience and change

Atmospherically, the nature images in the further series shift the focus to a more intimate mood, in which the themes of transience and change take center stage. Several of the works were created in 2016, immediately after the death of Peter Granser’s father, and provide insight into the way he processed this loss. In the works on view, nature becomes the catalyst of inner contemplation. In its often-abstract form, it appears mystical and enigmatic, opening space for free association. This also takes place in the mirror of one’s own experiences. Different geological and vegetal landscapes are explored, from caves, mountains, and volcanoes to the jungle. Here, nature is secluded and untouched by human activity. It is presented in the broad range of its manifestations, some of which have developed over millions of years, as in the case with cave formations. Inherent in the works is their symbolism referring to aspects of temporality and finiteness, as well as the acceptance of these.

Peter Granser, Paradajs 4, I walked into a cave and up to Paradajs, 2016
Peter Granser, 30/60, 2016/2017

The photographs encourage decelerated contemplation, an intention that is reinforced by the “Zwischen/Raum” (Between/Space) installed in the exhibition space: a tea room built into a shipping crate. The “Zwischen/Raum” represents an interpretation of the ITO project space, in which Peter Granser and Beatrice Theil have been experimenting since 2015 with the combination of contemporary art and the preparation of high-quality Japanese and Taiwanese teas.

Peter Granser, Nightsky 091010, Heaven in Clouds, 2009–2012, © Peter Granser
Peter Granser, Nightsky 091010, Heaven in Clouds, 2009–2012, © Peter Granser

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