The impetus for Heimat (derived from the German word for “homeland”) Bialobrzeski’s series of landscapes set in the German countryside was an appointment to a position in Bremen at an art college, for it meant that a minimum of eight months a year would be spent in Germany. Bialobrzeski’s pictures are in direct contradistinction to his contemporaries in the “new” German style in photography (Andreas Gursky, Thomas Ruff, Thomas Struth): whereas the New German Photography was to be documentary, objective and devoid of emotion, Bialobrzeski sought an aesthetic of beauty that approached the sublime. His pictures owe more to the German Romantic painter Caspar David Friedrich than to the New German Photography of the Bechers and their students.
The landscapes that Peter Bialobrzeski photographs are places where people go to seek quiet or recreation and, though they are populated by many folks, the overall impression is of a grand and vastly scaled landscape filled with memory and meaning. And they are beautiful and transcendent---in this sense a glorious contradiction to the cool, hip, detached aesthetic which they parallel.
The series Lost in Transition continues his career-long search for beauty and meaning in a rapidly industrializing world, Bialobrzeski focuses his large format camera on landcapes that are in the middle of being recreated, and celebrates in glorious color and glowing light places that are desolate and uninviting This contradiction produces images that suggest a festival atmosphere while describing isolation and dehumanization. The long exposures required by these mostly nighttime images create ghost-like and other-worldly scenarios which are rooted in reality by the presence of naked trees, people lingering in the shadows, and other evidence of man’s inescapable presence. By choosing not to specifically identify their locations, he points out the universal nature of these conditions.
Peter Bialobrzeski was born in Wolfburg in 1961. His work has been critically acclaimed both nationally and internationally, and his work is in numerous private, corporate and museum collections. He is represented in the United States by Laurence Miller Gallery.