Vera Lutter

VERA LUTTER, 333 West 39th Street, XXII: December 9–15, 2011, 2011, unique gelatin silver print, 104 1/16 × 112 inches (264.3 × 284.5 cm)

Vera Lutter Listed Exhibitions (Selected) (28 Kb)
Vera Lutter Bibliography (42 Kb)

Vera Lutter was born in 1960 in Kaiserslautern, Germany. She graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts, Munich, in 1991, and received her M.F.A. at the School of Visual Arts, New York, in 1995. Inspired by the city’s presence, light, and architecture, Lutter began experimenting with photography. In order to capture an immediate and direct imprint of her experience, Lutter decided to turn the room in which she lived into a large pinhole camera—thereby transforming the space that contained her personal experience into the apparatus that would capture an image of it. Through a simple pinhole instead of an optically carved lens, the outside world flooded the interior of the room and projected an inverted image onto the opposite wall. Exposing directly onto wall-size sheets of photographic paper, the artist achieved large-scale black and white images. Maintaining her concept of directness and least possible alteration, Lutter decided to retain the negative image and refrain from multiplication or reproduction.

New York is a returning subject in Vera Lutter’s work, and through working internationally, she employed the technique of the camera obscura, or pinhole camera, in projects around the world where she photographically rendered architecture, shipyards, airports, and abandoned factories, focusing on industrial sites that pertain to transportation and fabrication. Vera Lutter’s work has been recognized by many periodicals including Artforum, ARTNews, Art in America, BOMB, and The New York Times; as well as books including 100 Contemporary Artists (Taschen), The Photograph as Contemporary Art (Thames & Hudson), and Vitamin Ph: New Perspectives in Photography (Phaidon).

Lutter's images have been exhibited in several solo and group exhibitions. Recent solo shows include the Dia Center for the Arts, New York (1999); Kunsthalle Basel, Basel (2001); Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago (2002); Dia Beacon, New York (2005); Kunsthaus Graz, Austria (2004); Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas (2005); Foundation Beyeler, Basel (2008); Carré d’art Musée d’Art contemporain, Nimes (2012); and “Inverted Worlds,” the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (2015; traveling to the New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans through 2016). Lutter’s photographs are in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Neue Galerie New York, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, among others. Lutter had the honor of receiving the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant in 2002, a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship in 2001, and the Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (DAAD) Grant in 1993.

Lutter currently lives and works in New York City.