Exposition Art Blog: Michael Wolf - Architecture of Density

Michael Wolf - Architecture of Density

Michael Wolf (1954 –2019) was a German artist and photographer whose work focused on daily life in big cities. Wolf won first prize in the Contemporary Issues category of the 2004 World Press Photo competition for his photographs of workers in several types of factories for an article in Stern. He lived and worked in Hong Kong and Paris.Wolf was born in 1954 in Munich, Germany, and was raised in the United States, Europe, and Canada. He attended the North Toronto Collegiate Institute and the University of California, Berkeley. In 1976 he obtained a degree in visual communication at the University of Essen, Germany, where he studied with Otto Steinert

Photographer who concentrated on the high-density architecture of Hong Kong

"After moving on from a successful career in photojournalism in 2003 to pursue his personal work, the photographer Michael Wolf, who has died unexpectedly aged 64, devoted himself to exploring the complex nature of life in some of the world’s largest cities. Michael was best known for his series Architecture of Density (2003-14), which focused on the facades of Hong Kong’s landmark postwar tower blocks.
These ominous concrete structures have none of the dazzling sheen of Hong Kong’s iconic harbour skyline, but rather reflect the difficult living conditions of the working class in one of the world’s densest cities. By cropping out the sky and occluding the horizon – a “no-exit” approach that he would use throughout his work – Wolf turned these buildings into seemingly infinite formal abstractions while inviting the viewer to reflect on the lives that they contain."(theguardian.com)
“Michael Wolf’s work on life in cities was always driven by a profound concern for the people living in these environments and for the consequences of massive urbanisation on contemporary civilisation,” his family said, announcing his death. “This commitment and engagement remained central throughout his career, first as a photojournalist and then as an artist.”(bjp-online.com)

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