Michael Wolf (1954-2019) investigates new perspectives on urban life and its structure in the digital age. His work addresses the realities of 21st-century metropolitan existence, defined by constant access, vanishing privacy, and unlimited exposure. The artist explored the density of city life through a diverse array of mediums, from large format cameras capturing architectural landscapes to appropriating Google’s Street View imagery to isolate anonymous city dwellers. Wolf’s eye for detail allowed him to introduce visual language into his work and balance the private and the public, anonymity and individuality, the distant to the up close. Wolf’s deliberate and engaging compositions highlight his innovative vision, reflecting a new approach to imagining our world’s most photographed cities.


Born in 1954 in Munich, Wolf grew up in the United States, Europe, and Canada and studied at the University of California Berkeley and the University of Essen in Germany. He moved to China in 1995 to study China’s cultural identity and the complexities of its urban architecture. The German American artist won first prize in the World Press Photo Award Competition in 2005 and 2010. In 2010, Wolf was shortlisted for the prestigious Prix Pictet. Michael Wolf passed away in 2019 at the age of 65.


Wolf has had exhibitions at Les Rencontres d’Arles, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.; Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego; Goethe Institute, Hong Kong; Fotografiemuseum, Amsterdam; Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art; Museum Center Vapriikki, Tampere, Finland; Aperture Gallery, New York; and the Venice Biennale of Architecture among many others. His work is held in many permanent collections such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Folkwang Museum, Essen, Germany; the Brooklyn Museum; the Cleveland Museum of Art; the Nelson-Atkins Art Museum, Kansas City; and the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago.


Wolf has published numerous monographs including most recently, Michael Wolf Works (2017), Tokyo Compression Revisited (2011), Real Fake Art (2011), Tokyo Compression (2010),Hong Kong: Inside/Outside (2009), The Transparent City (2008), Hong Kong: Front Door/Back Door, (2005), and Sitting in China (2002).

Selected Works
Art Fairs

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