Monika Baumgartl

The Monika Baumgartl exhibition at Projektraum Ventilator held from the 28th of June to the 8th of July will be the first individual exhibition of the photographer in Berlin.


Monika Baumgartl (born 1942) is a German photographer whose multifaceted work extends up to 1986 and is part of the avant-garde movement of the 1970s-1980s. Rich of influences from Düsseldorf and New York, her creations are crossing conceptual, abstract and experimental art forms. She is notably allegedly the first photographer who used the Moon as an element of abstract composition.

Her interest for buddhism-zen philosophy and macrobiotic influences her entire work with notions of energy, unity and harmony between and within the creations. This artistic harmony and poetic touches her audience, whose contemplation of the photographs results in a feeling of communion with both the cosmos and the artist. Monika’s photographs aim at putting the viewer in a peaceful and meditative place favorable to consciousness development and soul elevation.

Monika Baumgartl strives to create harmony between contrary forces. Her creations blend figurative and abstract forms through the use of multi-exposure and black-and-white film, which give her work a poetic and timeless aspect.

Her experiments with light are the focal point of her exploration of the metaphysical concepts of time, space and physical matter.

Monika Baumgartl does not consider works of art to be commercial items aiming at flattering viewers and creators. The artistic context in Düsseldorf, where she lived in the 1970s, as well as the acquaintances she then made in New York led her to focus her work on space, the relationship between the viewer and works of art, and the implication of the artist in his/her creations. What makes Monika’s art particularly rich is the inclusion of other disciplines such as dance, theatre and music.

By pursuing her artistic career in the field of Taiko, a Japanese discipline blending drum music, martial arts, dance and meditation, she furthered her ability to vary modes of artistic expression to serve the transmission of her philosophy.

Born in 1942 in Prague, Monika Baumgartl discovered photography at 24 years old as she was living in Paris. After almost two years of studying photography at Hofheim an Taunus, she developed her artistic acitivity in Düsseldorf from 1969 onwards. The political, cultural and spiritual abundance in which she forges her artistic education is fundamental. The cultural context of the 1960s and 1970s, characterised notably by the development of conceptual and free artist, inspired the beginning of her career and her exploration of photography, dance, experimental theatre and performance. The obtention of a grant from the city of Düsseldorf for PS1 New York in 1978 enabled her to go there and then regularly visit New York. The artistic scene of West Germany and Düsseldorf would then keep on influencing her work and participate in the flourishment of her art.

Monika Baumgartl has been displaying her work for more than three years in her gallery Kunst-Ecke in Düsseldorf.

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