press release

The Telefónica foundation presents the exhibition "In Strange Lands", consisting of 35 images produced by the German photographer Axel Hütte in Spain and, across the Atlantic Ocean, in several Latin American countries.

Since his first series, Hütte has been laying the foundation of an essential aesthetic difference. The choice of landscape, a genre that is quite uncommon in contemporary art, and an openly pictorial aesthetic, embody the bases of his work.

Axel Hütte's work is based on exhibiting nature in its most natural and free state. Nevertheless, none of his landscapes can be considered natural although they may seem so, because they belong to an elaborate cultural process; they are all manipulated according to the perception from different perspectives, all of which are imponderable in other historical coordinates.

Among the fundamental aspects of his works are his special way of defining beauty, prolonging the sensation that the picture has no limits, and a very characteristic way of situating the horizon.

We are before a cultured traveller who prepares his journeys with information, geographical and historical data, but also by reading literature and especially writings on fine art.

It is true that the human presence is non-existent in Axel Hütte's photographs, but this is only so at first glance. The human presence is in the almost invisible traces left in passing these places at which the artist arrives. But especially this cultural vestige is present in the way in which Hütte sees, in the perspective, in the choice of an area, in the fragment of reality that each photograph exemplifies and isolates, like an independent world.

Born in Essen (Germany) in 1951, this disciple of Hilla and Bernd Becher belongs to a generation of artists that were educated in the same classrooms and that went on to share languages and attitudes about fine art, eventually creating an artistic movement that-while not an authentic aesthetic group-established the general guidelines for the so-called new German photography.

His prestigious artistic career is reflected in the welcome it has received from numerous international galleries and museums, from the Museo Reina Sofía in Madrid,to the Fotomuseum Winterthur of Zurich and the Kunsthalle of Hamburg. It has also been a part of group shows at the Centre Pompidou of Paris and the Guggenheim of New York, among others.


Axel Hütte estudia en la Kunstakademie de Düsseldorf entre los años 1973 y 1981, es discípulo de Hilla y Bernd Becher y forma parte de una generación de artistas, formada en las mismas aulas, que compartirían lenguajes y actitudes plásticas. Desde sus primeras series de paisajes (Landschaft) de Portugal, Grecia, Italia, Francia, España, Suiza y Alemania, Hütte traza las bases de una diferencia estética esencial. La elección de un género poco habitual en el arte actual, como es el paisaje, y una estética abiertamente pictórica definirá un trabajo que se convierte en una marca estética. Como el auténtico artista romántico, Hütte se convierte en la única presencia humana ante la naturaleza en toda su grandeza y en toda su extensión: Es por su mirada por la que nosotros llegamos a ver esa naturaleza, a través de lo que él ha mirado y nos devuelve en sus fotografías, para que seamos testigos tanto de la magnitud de la belleza como del hecho irreversible de la presencia y dominio del hombre sobre la naturaleza.

only in german

Axel Hütte