Wim Wenders: Pictures from the Surface of the Earth

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Media Release: October, 2003. 

“The most recent showing of photography by the film director Wim Wenders, Pictures from the Surface of the Earth, at the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao drew the second highest daily number of visitors of any exhibitions by contemporary artists in 2002.” Art Newspaper No. 135, April 2003.

From the director of Buena Vista Social Club and Paris, Texas comes Wim Wenders: Pictures from the Surface of the Earth opening at City Gallery Wellington, Saturday 25 October 2003. The only New Zealand venue on the world tour, the exhibition brings together 30 large-scale photographs taken by the renowned German artist and filmmaker.

From panoramic landscapes of the American west, exhibited in Wenders’ first photographic exhibition Written in the West in 1986, to colourful city vistas and streetscapes and landscapes taken on location while filming the Buena Vista Social Club in Havana in 1998, to chilling photographs of Ground Zero, New York, this exhibition presents a selection of large images, some over 4 metres in length, captured by Wenders over the past two decades while scouting for film locations or on personal travels across Australia, Cuba, Germany, Japan and the United States.

Wim Wenders: Pictures from the Surface of the Earth comes directly to City Gallery Wellington, from the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney Australia and is based on recent versions of the exhibition presented at the Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin Germany in September 2001 and at the Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao Spain in June 2002.

“City Gallery has worked with the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney to bring this exhibition to Australasia,” says Gallery Director Paula Savage. “While people are familiar with Wenders’ films it gives audiences a rare opportunity to see his stunning photography.”

A leading director of the New German Cinema in the 1970s, Wenders had, by the mid-1980s, established himself as a cult figure on the international film scene. His film credits include the award-winning music documentary Buena Vista Social Club (1998), Paris, Texas (1984), Wings of Desire (1987), Lisbon Story (1994), A Trick of the Light (1996), The End of Violence (1997) and The Million Dollar Hotel (2000).

As a prolific, multi-faceted artist, Wenders channels his creative energy and extraordinary visual sensibility into work across a broad range of media, including watercolours and ink drawings, collage, cinema, photography and electronic images. He has also published numerous books, collections of photographs and essays, reflections on film-making and other photo and art books.

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Exhibition organised and toured by the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Australia in association with City Gallery Wellington