Matthias Hoch’s photographs from 1988 include two overlapping series: Train Stations in German cities from Altenburg to Zwickau and Night, shots of spots in Dresden and Leipzig. A taught coolness in atmosphere and architecture imbues both, complimented by tonal grays of cement and concrete in the stations and by the restricted color palette of night photography. Contrast is subtle; occurring when op-art safety graphics meet alternating patterns in floor or wall tiles of hi-traffic pedestrian corridors or when a single security light turns one façade of a pitch black row building into a bright green beacon with charcoal edges. Hoch’s focus has long been on faithfully recording the disparate textures, patterns, and lines of new or re-configured public places, but the success of his photographs lies in his ability to transform the hard edge utilitarian elements into rich, unexpected abstractions with their own visual energy and resonance.
Matthias Hoch received his Degree in Photography at the Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst, Leipzig, Germany. He has exhibited throughout Europe, Canada and America and has work in the collections of many museums, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Museum Ludwig, Köln; Deutsches Historisches Museum, Berlin; and Suermondt Ludwig Museum, Aachen. Next year Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich will show a selection of Hoch’s Train Stations photographs from their collection.