• 11 Fragen an… OLIVER MARK

    Spielfeld Berlin.

  • Oliver Mark – Natura Morta

    Peter Lindhorst.

  • Gemäldegalerie der Akademie der bildenden Künste Wien, 2017

    Natura Morta
    Pho­to­graph­i­en von Oliv­er Mark in Kor­res­pondenz zu Still­leben-Gemälden der Sammlung

    Natura Morta, Oliv­er Mark’s cur­rent pro­ject, is ded­ic­ated to the ques­tion of how human beings treat their envir­on­ment and the nat­ur­al world, focus­ing in par­tic­u­lar on the anim­al king­dom as well as the aes­thet­ics and beauty of death. In the sev­en­teenth and eight­eenth cen­tur­ies, the still life genre, ori­gin­ally known as natura morta – ‘dead nature’ –, became estab­lished as stil leven in Hol­land and Still­leben in Ger­many. In this trans­ition, the notion behind the genre shif­ted from the Lat­in and Itali­an mean­ing. How­ever, if one takes life as exist­ence or being, and still as inact­ive in the sense of dead, the term con­tin­ued to express a very sim­il­ar idea, even if not quite identic­al. For his present pro­ject, Oliv­er Mark has delib­er­ated chosen the ori­gin­al Lat­in term as a way of high­light­ing the con­trast between nature = life and life­less = dead. What we dis­cov­er in his pho­to­graphs did once live and, in almost every case, was killed in the prime of life by human hand. Moreover, the natura morta term strongly shifts the focus to the anim­al and plant king­doms, pla­cing human­ity in the back­ground. Even if, of course, human beings are a part of nature, we are only one small part com­pared to nature’s vast diversity.

    Oliv­er Mark’s still life pho­to­graphs were taken in a Ger­man cus­toms’ stor­age room in Bonn where the court exhib­its are kept. In his pho­tos, he orches­trates objects con­fis­cated by the cus­toms as clas­sic art still lifes – from leo­pard skulls and carved ivory to products from cro­codile, tor­toise or turtle, parts of pro­tec­ted anim­als and plants, hunt­ing trophies, snake­skin gar­ments, music­al instru­ments from valu­able trop­ic­al woods, and souven­irs such as sea horses, cor­al, snails and sea shells.

    Oliv­er Mark presents his works in his­tor­ic paint­ing frames. In the Paint­ings Gal­lery, this gen­er­ates par­al­lels between the genres of paint­ing and pho­to­graphy, but also between pho­to­graph­ic and painted still lifes. Togeth­er with Oliv­er Mark’s pho­to­graphy, the Paint­ings Gal­lery is show­ing nine works from its own col­lec­tion by artists such as Willem van Aelst, Philips Angel van Mid­del­burg, Abra­ham van Beyer­en, Jan van der Hey­den, Max­imili­an Pfeiler, Abra­ham Susenir, Jan Weenix, and the suc­cessors of Peter Paul Rubens, cre­at­ing new per­spect­ives on mas­ter­pieces of sev­en­teenth-cen­tury Dutch art.

    In this way, vis­it­ors can explore a wide range of asso­ci­at­ive ideas. Ideally, these pro­duce new and dif­fer­ent views of seem­ingly ‘well-known’ paint­ings in the col­lec­tion, or encour­age the aes­thet­ic enjoy­ment of the pho­to­graphs and lead to reflec­tions on how human­ity treats the nat­ur­al world.

    In the Nat­ur­al His­tory Museum, where a fur­ther three groups of Oliv­er Mark’s pho­to­graph­ic works are shown jux­ta­posed with anim­al spe­ci­mens, the focus is on the pro­tec­tion of endangered spe­cies. The trade in anim­al and plant spe­cies is reg­u­lated under inter­na­tion­al law, ban­ning many souven­irs from being impor­ted into the sig­nat­ory coun­tries. The author­it­ies enforce this law under the Con­ven­tion on Inter­na­tion­al Trade in Endangered Spe­cies of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), which pro­tects over 35,000 threatened anim­als and plants and was rat­i­fied by Aus­tria in 1982.

    Oliv­er Mark’s impress­ive pho­to­graphs offer space for ideas and asso­ci­ations across a broad spec­trum of top­ics: How do people treat their envir­on­ment? What so fas­cin­ates us about the still life genre? And what dis­tin­guishes paint­ing from photography?

    Julia M. Nauhaus, Dir­ect­or of the Pic­ture Gal­lery Academy of Fine Arts Vienna
  • Die Rückkehr der Moral

    Brigitte Borchhardt-Birbaumer, Wiener Zeitung.

  • Naturhistorisches Museum Wien, 2017

    Natura Morta
    Pho­to­graph­i­en von Oliv­er Mark in Kor­res­pondenz zu Still­leben aus der Sammlung der Gemälde­galer­ie und Tier­prä­par­aten des Naturhis­tor­ischen Museums

  • ºCLAIRbyKahn Gallery, Munich 2017

    Between Skies and Earth
    Alv­in Lang­don Coburn & Oliv­er Mark

    The light and the obscure, the sky and the earth, the eth­er­e­al and the cor­por­eal. Such jux­ta­pos­i­tions have long formed the essence of the photographer’s art and a mas­tery of these ele­ments can evoke entire uni­verses of nuance and emotion.

    Oliv­er Mark (b. Ger­many, 1963) is one of the mod­ern geni­uses in the use of these ele­ments; and Alv­in Lang­don Coburn (b. Amer­ica, 1882; d. Wales, 1966) pos­sessed such a gift in their use that his work forms the found­a­tion of pictori­al­ist pho­to­graphy. CLAIR Gal­lery cur­ated an exhib­i­tion, Between Skies and Earth, that explored the overt and cov­ert con­nec­tions between these two cel­eb­rated pho­to­graph­ers who are sep­ar­ated by more than a century.

    CLAIR Gal­lery presen­ted Between Skies and Earth from March 30, 2017 to June 11, 2017 at Franz-Joseph-Strasse 10 in Munich.

    Oliv­er Mark is renowned for his por­traits of aris­to­crats, artists, and celebrit­ies. His work has been pub­lished in magazines such as Vogue and Van­ity Fair, while his pho­to­graphs have been exhib­ited in museums around the world. More inform­a­tion avail­able at his artist page or  on his per­son­al website.Alvin Lang­don Coburn was a pion­eer­ing fig­ure in pho­to­graphy and an early mas­ter of pictor­al­ism. He began tak­ing pho­to­graphs as a young child and his career spanned more than six dec­ades. His work bears wit­ness to the rise of the great mod­ern cit­ies and he was fas­cin­ated by the dynam­ic com­plex­ity of these new urb­an envir­on­ments. Coburn had a par­tic­u­lar geni­us for pho­to­graph­ing move­ment, wheth­er it be the eer­ie play of arti­fi­cial and nat­ur­al light at night­fall in New York City or the traces of ped­es­tri­ans seen from a perch high above a Lon­don park. To see more of his work, vis­it his CLAIR artist page.

    Anna-Patri­cia Kahn, 2017
  • Natura Morta

    „Natura Morta“ by Oliver Mark. Kehrer, Heidelberg 2016.

    Kehr­er Ver­lag, 2016

    Ed. Rain­er Vollkom­mer, Liecht­en­stein­isches Landes­mu­seum. Text: Lorenz Beck­er, Phil­ipp Demandt, Aure­lia Frick, Bar­bara Hendricks, Chris­ti­an Köberl, Julia M. Nauhaus, Michael Schip­per, Rain­er Vollkommer.

    Ger­man, Eng­lish
    136 pages, 57 ills.
    30,4 x 37,5 cm
    ISBN 978–3‑86828–759‑2

    View Pro­ject · Down­load

  • Ausstellung „Berlin is for Lovers“ in Berlin-Tiergarten: (Halb)nackte Berliner auf Polaroids

    Philipp Fritz, Berliner Zeitung.

  • Lindenau-Museum Altenburg, 2015–2016

    In Szene geset­zt: Aus Porträts wer­den Kleider

    A col­lec­tion of Oliv­er Mark’s pho­to­graphs were shown as part of a major por­trait exhib­i­tion at the Lindenau-Museum in Alten­burg, Ger­many. from Octo­ber 10, 2015 to April 3, 2016 Mark’s pho­to­graphs were fea­tured along with paint­ings by such artists as Domen­ico Ghir­landaio (15th cen­tury) and Michiel van Mierev­elt (17th century).

  • Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz, 2014

    Aus den Trüm­mern kriecht das Leben
    Por­traits von Karl Otto Götz

    Im Jahr 2013 hatte der Foto­graf Oliv­er Mark (*1963) die Gele­gen­heit, den Künst­ler K.O. Götz (*1914) mehr­ere Tage in seinem privaten Lebensum­feld zu besuchen. Es entstanden eindring­liche und intime Foto­grafi­en, die K.O. Götz ungeschminkt und sehr facetten­reich zei­gen – stolz und nachden­k­lich, aber auch zer­brech­lich und zart, gezeich­net von einem 100-jährigen schaf­fens­reichen Künst­ler­leben. Beg­leitet wer­den die 18 aus­ges­tell­ten Bilder von sieben ber­ührenden Gedi­cht­en, die K.O. Götz über mehr­ere Jahre schrieb. Alle Foto­grafi­en und Gedi­chte pub­liz­ierte Oliv­er Mark in dem Künst­ler­buch „Aus den Trüm­mern kriecht das Leben“ (2013). Wir danken Rissa und der K.O. Götz und Rissa-Stif­tung herz­lich für die Ermög­lichung dieser Ausstellung.