The Yancey Richardson Gallery is pleased to present HERE, a project gallery exhibition of works
by Czech photographer Jitka Hanzlová, marking the debut exhibition of the artist’s work at the gallery.
The decade-long series documents the artist’s experience of acclimation to her new home in the
Ruhr region of northwest Germany. Formed by a conglomeration of industrial centers, including
Hanzlová’s adopted town of Essen, the landscape of the Ruhr region is in sharp contrast to the pristine forests of her childhood.
The residual sense of foreignness to the landscape, language and people is at the heart of the series. As Hanzlová explains, “Otherness is a challenge. It keeps you alert and sharpens your senses.” The images reflect this visual acuity, presenting curious landscapes clearly shaped by human intervention yet resplendent in their poetic sensibility. “The feel of a place is very important to my work, especially the light,” says the artist. Hanzlová’s expert treatment of light and attention to detail lend a sense of the transformative in these landscapes, as seen through the eyes of a poet.
Hanzlová has produced several other bodies of work since beginning HERE in 1998,
including: Cotton Rose, a series of portraits in Japan, published as a monograph by
Steidl; Leonardo, a series of Renaissance inspired portraits; Female, a portrait series of
women the artist encountered on the streets of Europe and America; and Forest, a quiet
yet powerful exploration of the forest near the Czech village where she grew up. Void of
any trace of civilization, the Forest images possess an out-of-time, enchanted quality. As
critic John Berger writes in the introduction to Steidl’s monograph of Forest, “the longer
one looks at Jitka Hanzlová’s pictures of her forest, the clearer it becomes that escape
from the prison of modern time is possible.”
Born in Czechoslovakia in 1958, Jitka Hanzlová has lived in Germany since 1983. She
has had solo exhibitions in several international museums, including the Deichtorhallen,
Hamburg, the Fotomuseum, Winterthur, and the Stedelijk, Amsterdam. She is the winner
of the 2007 BMW Prize at Paris Photo, the 2003 Grand Prix Award, Arles, and was
shortlisted for the 2001 Citibank Photography Prize. Her work is held in the permanent
collections of several major museums, including the Museum of Modern Art, San
Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Stedelijk Museum, and the Fotomuseum Winterthur,
among many others.