Presentation House Gallery
The Polygon Gallery
333 Chesterfield Avenue
North Vancouver, BC V7M 3G9

Annette Kelm

Opening reception, Saturday September 8 at 7 pm.


Annette Kelm is a German artist who within a decade has already made a significant contribution to contemporary photography. Based in conventional studio and landscape genres, her subtle, deadpan images become increasingly mysterious through examination. They initially appear as objective documents, yet the factual and temporal confusions of her uncanny pictures reinforce the uncertainties of perception. Significantly, Kelm works traditionally; her colour photographs are taken with an analogue medium and large-format camera and are individually handmade in a darkroom. She produces both single images and serial works, often using a detailed studio-shot format reminiscent of advertising photography. Through these considered means, Kelm has developed a unique photographic approach that critic Kirsty Bell aptly describes as:

“… precise, carefully composed, well-lit images [that] luxuriate in surface and clarity of detail while fitting neatly into standard photographic genres: still life, portraiture, landscape. The things they present definitely exist; there is no doubt about that. But something about their brightness seems not quite right. As self-evident as her images appear, they are undercut with a strangeness that questions not only the purpose of the objects, but also the nature of their representation.”

Kelm has recently exhibited at: Andrew Kreps, New York; Johann Koonig Gallery, Berlin, Kunsthalle, Zurich; Camera Austria, Graz; Witte de With, Rotterdam, ILLuminations, 54th Venice Biennale;, The Photographer’s Gallery, London; and CCA Wattis institute of Contemporary art, San Francisco. Her work was included in Presentation House Gallery’s 2009 exhibition, Photobjects and she has produced a PHG artist book, Lynn Valley #4 with a special edition print. She is represented by Andrew Kreps, New York; Herald Street, London; Johann Konig Gallery, Berlin and Marc Foxx, Los Angeles.

Exhibition curated by Reid Shier.

Copies of Kelm’s catalogue published by Walter Konig, are available here.

  • Untitled (Rider), 2005, C-print

  • West Gallery