Annette Kelm

Germany 1975


Annette Kelm
Annette Kelm
March 16, 2017
Music, Gestalt, .

Annette Kelm is one of the most prominent contemporary German artists in the medium of photography. She explores the traditional forms of photographic representation while using conventional analog techniques with an uncanny effect; her art rendering something that is vaguely familiar but raises a discomfort and anxiety because of an ambiguous difference that is hard to trace. Born in Stuttgart in 1975 and graduated from The Hochschule für bildende Künste in Hamburg, she has been living in Berlin since 2000. With a new view on photography, Annette confronts us with a unique pictorial language, combining a sense of objectivity and precise formal construction, with perfect illumination without shadows and defamiliarizing narratives.

for more info about installation 2013 and untitled pictures contact archiv of history
Annette Kelm – Home Home Home / Daylight, C print 2015 – photo credits of Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York

Exhibition of Seemingly Artistic Insignificance and Concealed References

In spite of having a diverse variety of motifs, this artist usually works in standard genres of still-life, landscape, and the portrait that fall in the range of American post-conceptual practice. She has also been associated with the Düsseldorf School of photographers. Annette explores intersections of documentary and advertising genres using a matter-of-fact and frontal approach. A big amount of her work is untitled and it plays a part in her concept. Creating symmetry of a seemingly artistic insignificance and concealed historical, economic and cultural references, she underlines her engagement with current cross-cultural issues such as globalization, alienation, urbanization, consumerism etc. However, having a perfectly good taste with an elegant sense of humor, she manages to make a balance between static images and their hermetic conceptual dynamism.

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Annette Kelm – Untitled (Cards), C print, 2010 – photo credits of Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York

Repetition and Difference in View

With a high critical awareness for the means of production, this multifaceted art goes towards the exploration of cultural codes and sign systems inherent to the medium of photography. Annette usually shoots with a large-format camera and is famous for rejecting digital practices in favor of using analog techniques for creating pictures. In a single image, she mixes several genres through a series of a single motive. The photos have a strange domestic sensuality and casualness in them; reoccurring motives of plants, cars, flowers, everyday items, patterned textiles are meticulously prepared in view of a certain misplacement. She is famous for her paisley picture series of textile patterns from the American designer Dorothy Draper.

Strange domestic sensuality

new untitled print installation in the field of zeitgeschichte
Annette Kelm – Shetland Ponies Knokke Heist, 2013 – photo credits of Konig Galerie, Berlin

Alienated Functions of Portrayed Objects in Kelm’s Photography

By highlighting that special misalignment she creates a distance from portrayed artifacts and investigates the disruption between the sculptural role of selected objects and alienation from their usual function. An internationally praised and acknowledged artist, she has a long exhibition history in worldwide institutions and galleries, one of them being Gallery Andrew Kreps from New York. The important exibition for her career was The New photography exhibition series in the Museum of Modern Art in 2013.

Annette Kelm lives and works in Berlin, Germany.


  1. Bell, K.(2014), Analog encounters, Art in America; [March 14, 2017]
  2. Oppenheim, l.(2010), Annette Kelm, Flash Art, [March 14, 2017]

Featured image: Annette Kelm – Photo of the artist in front of her work – Image via
All images used for illustrative purposes only

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2017kestnergesellschaft Hannover, GermanySolo
2016PizzaKönig Galerie, Berlin, GermanySolo
2016Detroit City/Detroit Affinities: Annette KelmMuseum of Contemporary Art, Detroit, MISolo
2016UntitledVOX, Montreal, CanadaSolo
2016UntitledHerald Sq, London, United KingdomSolo
2016Béton Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, AustriaGroup
2016With Different Eyes: The portrait in contemporary photography, Kunstmuseum Bonn, Bonn, GermanyGroup
2016UntitledHerald St, London, United KingdomGroup
2016Invisible Adversaries: Marieluise Hessel Collection, Hessel Museum of Art, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NYGroup
2015UntitledCollected by Thea Westreich Wagner and Ethan Wagner, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NYGroup
2015Perfect Likeness: Photography and CompositionHammer Museum, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2015Function follows vision, vision Follows RealityKunsthalle Wien, Vienna, AustriaGroup
2015AIMIA Photography Prize Exhibition Art Gallery of Ontario, Ontario, CanadaGroup
2015I Got to Have One of ThoseLenbachhaus, Munich, GermanyGroup
2015Looking Back: The 9th White Columns AnnualSelected by Cleopatra's, White Columns, New York, NYGroup
2015more Conception Conception nowMuseum Morsbroich Leverkusen, GermanyGroup
2015IMAGINE REALITY, RAY 2015 Fotografieprojekte Frankfurt / Rhine-Main, Museum of Modern Art, Frankfurt, GermanyGroup
2015Other Ways and Means Marc Foxx Gallery, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2015Eat abstractedlyMary Mary, Glasglow, ScotlandGroup
2015Future Perfect. Contemporary Art from Germany Memorial do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, BrazilGroup
2015Future Perfect. Contemporary Art from Germany Kaliningrad State Art Gallery, Kaliningrad, RussiaGroup
2015Camera of WondersCentro de la Imágen, Centro Histórico, MéxicoGroup
2015UntitledMeyer Kainer Gallery, Vienna, AustriaSolo
2015nArchiveAndrew Kreps Gallery, New York, NYSolo
2015Home Home HomeMuseum Haus Lange,Krefeld, GermanySolo
2014In the Realm ofGío Marconi, Milan, ItalySolo
2014UntitledJohann König, Berlin, GermanySolo
2014UntitledEspace Culturel Louis Vuitton, Munich, GermanySolo
2014DustKölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne, GermanySolo
2013UntitledAndrew Kreps Gallery, New York, NY
2013UntitledTaka Ishii Tokyo, JapanSolo
2013Punctum Galerie Meyer Kainer, Baden, GermanyGroup
2013New Photography 2013Museum of Modern Art, New York, NYGroup
2013Futur II Frankfurter Kunstverein, GeramanyGroup
2012Untitled Johann König, Berlin, GermanySolo
2012UntitledMarc Foxx, Los Angeles, CASolo
2012UntitledMeyer Kainer Gallery, Vienna, AustriaSolo
2012UntitledPresentation House Gallery, Vancouver, CanadaSolo
2012Only parts of us will ever touch parts of others Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Paris, FranceGroup
2012State of the Art NRW-Forum, Düsseldorf, GermanyGroup
2012March, Sadie Coles London, United KingdomGroup
2012Ortswechsel Sammlung Rheingold, Schloss Dyck, Jüchen, GermanyGroup
2012Painting in Photography Städel Museum, Frankfurt, GermanyGroup
2012UM12 REIBUNG, SPANNUNG, WIDERSTAND Ueckermark-Festival für zeitgenössische Kunst, Literatur und Musik, Germany
2012Die Stadt, die es nicht gibt Ludwig Forum, Aachen, GermanyGroup
2011Hello aber with Michaela Meise, Bonner Kunstverein, Bonn, GermanySolo
2011Fruits Flowers and Clouds, Vienna, AustriaSolo
2011Illuminationscurated by Bice Curiger,Venice Biennale 54, ItalyGroup
2011Annette Kelm – Michaela Meise: Hello but Kunstverein Bonn, GermanyGroup
2011The Anxiety of Photography Aspen Art Museum, Aspen, COGroup
2010Cards and PlatesGio Marconi, Milan, ItalySolo
2010TodayAndrew Kreps Gallery, New York, NYSolo
2010There Has Been No Future There Will Be No Past, ISCP, New York, NYGroup
2010Discovery Award, 41st edition of the Rencontres d'Arles, Arles, France
Nuit Blanche Patricia Low Contemporary, Geneva, Switzerland
2010SUPER-NATURE an exercise in loads, AMP, Athens, GreeceGroup
2009UntitledHerald Street, London, United KingdomSolo
2009Annette Kelm Kunsthalle, Zürich, SwitzerlandSolo
2009UntitledKW – Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, GermanySolo
2009UntitledCamera Austria, Graz, AustriaSolo
2009Preis der Nationalgalerie furr junge Kunst Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin, GermanyGroup
2009Jonathan Monk on Richard Prince: Richard Prince and the Revolution ProjecteSD, Barcelona, SpainGroup
2009Pierre Bismuth, Mario Garcia Torres, Annette Kelm, Deimantas Narkevicius Jan Mot, Brussels, BelgiumGroup
2009The Photographic Object The Photographers' Gallery, London, United KingdomGroup
2009Kunstpreis Böttcherstraße Weserburg, BremenGroup
2009phot(o)objects Presentation House Gallery, Vancouver, CanadaGroup
2009Prose pour des Esseintes Karma International, Zürich, SwitzerlandGroup
2009Short Circuits Peter Blum Chelsea, New York, NYGroup
2009To be Determined Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York, NYGroup
2009A Twilight Art Harris Liebermann Gallery, New York, NYGroup
2008CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Art, San Francisco, CASolo
2008Witte de With Rotterdam, NetherlandsSolo
2008UntitledTaka Ishii Gallery, Tokyo, JapanSolo
2008Annette Kelm Marc Foxx (West Gallery), Los Angeles, Solo
2008Re-Used Modernity Brussels Biennale, Brussels, Belgium
2008The Art of the Real Sammlung von Edith & Mark Vanmoerkerke, OostendeGroup
2008Schatten werfen keine Schatten Meyer Riegger, KarlsruheGroup
2008The Possible DocumentHerald Street, London, United KingdomGroup
2008Egypted Kunsthalle Exnergasse, Vienna, AustriaGroup
20075 Minutes later Curated by Susanne Pfeffer Kunstwerke, Berlin, GermanyGroup
2007Vier Jahreszeiten Johann König, Berlin, GermanySolo
2007Oranges and Stripes Marc Foxx Gallery, Los Angeles, CASolo
2007PassengersCCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco, CAGroup
2007Anything You Want Pump House Gallery, London, United KingdomGroup
2007At Home Curated by Mario Testino, Yvon Lambert, New York, NYGroup
2007The History of a Decade That Has Not yet Been Named 9th Biennale d’Art Contemporain, Lyon (curated by Stéphanie Moisdon and Hans Ulrich Obrist)Group
2007L.A. Desire Galerie Dennis Kimmerich, Düsseldorf (curated by Wilhelm Schürmann)Group
2007Stuff: International Contemporary Art from the Collection of Burt Aaron Mocad, DetroitGroup
2007Die Wörter die Dinge, Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen, DüsseldorfGroup
2007Made in Germany Sprengel Museum, Hanover, GermanyGroup
2007Lost & Found Shedhalle, Zurich, SwitzerlandGroup
2007Annette Kelm Mark Roeder, Gallery Sora, Tokyo, JapanGroup
2006Errors in English Art Cologne - Award for Young Art, Artothek, Cologne, GermanySolo
2006Gold Standard, P.S.1 MoMA, Long Island City, NYGroup
2006New Ghost Entertainment – Entitled Or Gallery, Vancouver; Kunsthaus, Dresden, GermanyGroup
2006Don Quijote Witte de With, Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam, NetherlandsGroup
2006A Lover’s Discourse Peres Projects, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2006WRONG Galerie Klosterfelde, Berlin, GermanyGroup
2006Having New EyesAspen Art Museum, Aspen, COGroup
2006Stipendium Kunstverein, Hamburg, GermanyGroup
2005UntitledFörderkoje Art Cologne, Cologne, GermanySolo
2005John Taylor. Imagination of Things Imaginable Galerie Christian Nagel, Berlin, GermanyGroup
2005No Competitive Offers Artis, Den BoschGroup
2005The Berlin School of Art School Marc Foxx Gallery, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2005Stipendiaten 2004 Kunsthaus, Hamburg, GermanyGroup
2005Jetzt und zehn Jahre davor, KW Institute of Contemporary Art, Berlin, GermanyGroup
2004To a Snail Galerie Crone, BerlinSolo
2004Friendly Tournament Ausstellungsraum Hinterkonti, Hamburg, GermanySolo
2004Breakdance Die Blaue Kugel, Hamburg, GermanySolo
2004Deutschland such Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne, GermanyGroup
2004Nobody, Der graue Zylinder Galerie Meerrettich, Berlin, GermanyGroup
2004Quodlibet Galerie Daniel Buchholz, Cologne, GermanyGroup
2004Provide it Halle für Kunst, LüneburgGroup
2004Art Needs an OperationCasey Kaplan Gallery, New York, NYGroup
2004Telepathy Curating Galerie Meerrettich, Berlin, GermanyGroup
2004Blau in der Kugel Die blaue Kugel, Hamburg, GermanyGroup
2003Als Kriechtier ist das Pferd edler als der Esel HfBK, Hamburg, GermanySolo
2003Zimmer aufräumen Zupfgeigenhansl Kommt!, Künstlerhaus, Stuttgart; Kunsthaus, Dresden, GermanyGroup
2003Aktion Brückenkopf Bridgehead II, Hôtel Belleville, London, United KingdomGroup
2003Feine Ware I-III Kunstverein Hamburger Bahnhof, Hamburg, GermanyGroup
2002Hossa Centro Cultural Andratx, Mallorca, SpainGroup
2002andere räume Kunstverein, Hamburg, GermanyGroup
2002Bella Vista – Eine Fotografieausstellung der Gruppe 18 Palais für Aktuelle Kunst, GlücksstadtGroup
2001UntitledChromosomen privat und öffentlich Kunstverein, MeppenGroup
2001Planche, Säbelgefechte Klasse Cosima von Bonin, Hamburg, GermanyGroup
2001Les yeux sont faits, Wir Comawoche, Klasse Cosima von Bonin, HfBK, Hamburg, GermanyGroup
1999UntitledGalerie Nomadenoase, Golden Pudel Club, Hamburg, GermanySolo