Jens Knigge (b. 1964, Eilenburg, Germany) is focused on minimalist landscape photography. He grew up in East Germany and studied to become an engineer. In 1987, he moved to Berlin where he lives and works today. Being self-educated in photography, he develops the contact prints of his analogue negatives as hand coated platinum-palladium prints.
Starting from austere subjects – medieval or contemporary architecture, the detail of a structure, a snowy landscape – he reveals sublime shades of grey. Knigge’s work is characteristic of extreme sensitivity to light and shadows, to shapes and textures: photography at the limits of abstraction.
Recent presentations include Paris Photo, Photo Basel, UNSEEN, Fotografie-Forum Aachen/Monschau, Museum Kunst der Westküste (Germany) and Kiyosato Museum of Photographic Arts (Japan). Knigge’s work is in the collections at Kiyosato Museum of Photographic Arts in Japan, General Consulate of Germany in New York, Art and Culture Center Monschau in Germany, among others. Jens Knigge has published two photobooks of his platinum prints, Contact Northern Light (2016) and Prima Materia (2020).
Contact – Northern Light
«When I face a landscape, I already see it in platinum.» In Jens Knigge’s series Contact – Northern Light, the distinctive grandeur that is palpable amidst overwhelming nature at the polar circle is reflected in photographs of the snow-covered landscapes and mysteriously flickering Northern Lights (Aurora borealis). The pictures were taken on the Norwegian Nordkinn Peninsula, in Skaftafell nature reserve in Iceland, and at the Finnish-Norwegian border river Tenojoki. Knigge’s serene landscapes show pieces of rock and ice, snow-covered streets and quiet coves, small trees and bare rocks. He made a barely visible landscape to be seen, photographing under often harsh conditions during the Scandinavian dark wintertime. Using the platinum-palladium printing technique enables him to show all the subtleties captured by his camera.
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