Vera Lutter (German, b.1960) is an award-winning photographer. She was born in Kaiserslautern, Germany. Lutter received her undergraduate degree from the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Munich in 1991, where she trained as a sculptor. In 1993, she moved to New York City, where she was inspired by the city itself to take up photography. She began studying in the Photography and Related Media program at the School of Visual Arts in New York, and was awarded her MFA in 1995.

In an early phase of her work, Lutter began experimenting with a camera obscura, which was a direct antecedent to the modern day photographic camera that was found in Europe as early as the 13th century. The early versions of the camera obscura were essentially an enclosed, room-sized space that had an aperture in one wall. Lutter decided to revisit history by transforming an entire room of her New York apartment into a camera obscura. As a result, she was able to capture an unfiltered image of the city on a wall-sized piece of photographic paper. Since that time, Lutter has transformed a shipping container into a camera obscura that can be transported around the world and used to create large images of architecture, shipyards, airports, and abandoned factories. She has also taken photographs of the pyramids of Egypt.

Due to the fact that she exposes her images for long periods of time, Lutter is able to capture traces of movement that add a temporal dimension and an ethereal feeling to her work. By reviving the use of the ancient camera obscura, she has brought new life and sensitivity to modern photography. Lutter has exhibited her photographs in both group and solo shows all over the world. Her work is featured in the collections of numerous museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Art Institute of Chicago. The photographer currently lives and works in New York City.

Timeline

1960
Born in Kaiserslautern
1985–1991
Diploma, Academy of Fine Arts, Munich
1993
DAAD grant to New York
1993–1995
Master of Fine Arts Photography and Related Media, School of Visual Arts, New York
1997
International Center for Advanced Studies, New York University, grant Project on Cities and Urban Knowledge
1999
Kulturstiftung der ZF Friedrichshafen, grant
2001
IASPIS Stockholm, artist residence
2001
Guggenheim Fellowship
Lives and works in New York City

Exhibitions

2013
Folding Four in One, Galerie Xippas, Paris, France (solo)
2013
Big Pictures, Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, USA
2013
Light Sensitive: Photographic Works from North Carolina Collections, Nasher Museum of Art Duke University, Durham, USA
2013
0 to 60: The Experience of time through contemporary Art, North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, Travelled to Pratt Manhattan Gallery, New York, USA
2013
The Time is Now, John Berggruen Gallery, San Francisco, USA
2013
The Distaff Side, The Granary, Sharon, USA
2013
Legacy: Photographs from the Emily Fisher Landau Collection, The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, USA
2013
Flowers & Mushrooms, Museum der Moderne, Salzburg, Austria
2013
REMEMBER EVERYTHING, 40 Years Galerie Max Hetzler, Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin, Germany
2012
Skyscraper: Art and architecture against gravity, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Chicago, USA
2012
Conversations: Photography from the Bank of America Collection Irish Museum of Art, Dublin, Ireland
2012
Carré d'art Musée d'Art contemporain, Nîmes, France (solo)
2011
Alfonso Artiaco, Napoli, Italy (solo)
2011
Galerie Max Hetzler, Weidingen / Eifel, Germany (solo)
2011
Egypt, Gagosian Gallery, London, UK (solo)
2011
a ghost still is like a place, Baldwin Gallery, Aspen, USA (solo)
2011
Eye Wonder: Photography from the Bank of America Collection, The National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, USA
2011
Measuring the World. Heterotopias and Knowledge Spaces in Art, Kunsthaus Graz, Graz, Austria
2011
Prix Pictet Growth Shortlist Exhibition, Passage de Retz, Paris, France
2011
L'objet photographique: une invention permanente, La Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris, France
2011
Process, Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York, USA
2011
Moderne: Selbstmord der Kunst?, Neue Galerie, Graz, Austria
2010–2011
Still / Moving, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Israel
2010
Mixed-Use Manhattan, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain
2010
Vaxi Nation, Galerie Xippas (Exit 7), Athens, Greece
2010
Entre glace et neige (Between Ice and Snow) Centro Saint Benin, Aoste, Italy
2010
Crash, Gagosian Gallery, London, UK
2009–2010
elles@centrepompidou, Centre Pompidou, Paris, France
2009
Galerie Xippas, Paris, France
2009
Gagosian Gallery, Beverly Hills, USA
2008–2009
Images from Venice, Fondation Beyeler, Basel, Switzerland
2008
Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin, Germany
2008
Ariane Unhinged - choregraphie: Karole Armitage & décors: Vera Lutter, Henry Street Sttlement Playhouse, Abrons Arts Center, New York, USA
2008
Playhouse, Abrons Arts Center, New York, USA
2008
Galerie Baldwin, Aspen, USA
2008
ARCO, Galleria Cardi, Madrid, Spain
2008
Palimpseste, un bon pre-texte, La Réserve, Pacy-sur-Eure, France
2008
Photography and Architecture, Mitterand + Cramer, Genève, Switzerland
2007
Vera Lutter, Galleria Cardi, Milan, Italy (solo)
2007
Vera Lutter, Gagosian Gallery, New York, USA (solo)
2006–2007
Alchemy, Purdy Hicks Gallery, London, UK
2006
Taken with Time, Print Center, Philadephia, USA
2006
Out of the Camera, Bielefelder Kunstverein, Bielefeld, Germany
2006
Kunst und Photographie- Photographie und Kunst, Galerie Bernd Klüser, Munich, Germany
2006
A la (re)découverte des collections photographiques de Musée de La Roche-sur-Yon; Musée municipale d’Art de la Roche-sur-Yon, France
2006
Target Collection of American Photography: A Century In Pictures, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, USA
2006
In Sight: Recent Additions to the Permanent Collection, Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, USA
2005–2006
Vera Lutter (organized by the Director’s Council Program), The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, TX, USA (solo)
2005
Vera Lutter, Xippas Gallery, Athens, Greece
2005
Vera Lutter, Dia Beacon, New York, USA
2005
Roger Ballen, Alec Soth, Vera Lutter, Gagosian Gallery, New York, USA
2005
El Diablo non es Tan Malo Como se Pinta, Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Buenos Aires, Argentina
2005
Strange Days, Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art, Gainesville, USA
2005
Contemporary Obscurists, Alan Klotz Gallery, New York, USA
2004
26th São Paulo Biennial: Image Smugglers in a Free Territory (curated by Alfons Hug), Brazil
2004
Beginning Here: 101 Ways, Visual Arts Gallery, School of Visual Arts, New York, USA
2004
The Amazing & The Immutable, University of South Florida Contemporary Art Museum, Tampa, USA
2004
Gagosian Gallery, London, UK (solo)
2004
Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin, Germany (solo)
2004
Inside In Kunsthaus Graz, Graz, Austria (solo)
2004
Sao Paulo Biennial, Brazil
2003–2004
Defying Gravity: Contemporary Art and Flight North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, USA
2003–2004
Strange Days MCA Chicago, USA
2003
Landscapes of Man University of Michigan, Slusser Gallery, USA
2003
The Eye and the Camera A History of Photography, Albertina in Vienna, Austria
2003
Gagosian Gallery, Chelsea, New York, USA
2003
Wings of Art - das Motiv Flugzeug in der zeitgenössischen Kunst Kunsthalle Darmstadt, Germany
2002
Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, USA
2002
Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin, Germany
2002
Art on Paper 2002 Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, USA
2002
Visions from AmericaPhotographs from the Whitney Museum of American Art, USA
2002
Life of the City The Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA
2002
Whitney Biennial 2002Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, USA
2002
Exchange & TransformMunich Kunstverein, Germany
2002
Populated IASPIS, Stockholm, Sweden
2001
Enduring Love Klemens Gasser and Tanja Grunert Gallery, New York, USA
2001
Kunsthalle Basel, with Hanspeter Hofmann, Basel, Switzerland
2000
Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco, USA
2000
Barbara Flynn Gallery, Sydney, Australia
2000
New York Now The Museum of the City of New York, New York, USA
2000
Collectors Choice Exit Art, New York, USA
2000
Photography about Photography Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York, USA
1999
The Big Picture: Large Format Photography Middlebury College Museum of Art, Middlebury, Vermont, USA
1999
Low Tech Light Factory, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA
1999
Views from the Edge of the World Marlborough Gallery Chelsea, New York, USA
1999
Time Traced Dia Center for the Arts, with Rodney Graham (solo)
1999
Roth-Horowitz, New York, USA (solo)
1998
Wooster Gardens, New York, USA (solo)
1998
New York Divided City New York University, Center for International Studies, USA
1998
About Painting Part III, Robert Miller Gallery, New York, USA
1997
LightBennington Art College, Bennington, USA
1997
Urban Landscapes Marlborough Gallery, New York, USA
1996
Art Exchange New York, USA
1996
On New York Wooster Gardens, New York, USA (solo)
1995
Sight and Sense Hypo Bank, New York, USA (solo)
1995
NYCVisual Arts Gallery, New York, USA
1994
LISTArtland Gallery, New York, USA
1992
Förderpreise der Stadt München, Künstlerwerkstatt Lothringerstrasse, Munich, Germany
1992
InsightStore window installation, Art Association Munich, Germany (solo)
1992
Galerie X, Munich, Germany (solo)
1988
Galerie X, Munich, Germany (solo)
1988
Zwischenbericht BBK Galerie der Künstler, Munich, Germany
1987
ZwischenberichtKunsthalle Nürnberg, Nürnberg
Kunstverein Konstanz, Konstanz, Germany

Public Collections

North Carlina Museum of Art, Raleigh
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco
Neue Galerie, New York
Wadsworth Atheneum of Art, Hartford
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
Centre Pompidou - Museum of Modern Art, Paris
The Israel Museum, Tel Aviv
The Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York
Dia:New York - Center for the Arts, New York
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Middlebury Museum, College of Art, Vermont
Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago
Museum of Contemporary Photography, Michigan
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
Museum of Modern Art, New York

Literature

2007
Newman, Michael. Vera Lutter. New York: Gagosian Gallery
2006
Rulffes, Evke. Carbonic Anhydride. Berlin: Galerie Max Hetzler.
2006
Barron, Katy and Anna Douglas. Alchemy: Twelve Contemporary Artist Exploring the Essence of Photography. London: Purdy Hicks.
2006
Mextorf, Lars. Out of the Camera: Analog Photography in the Digital Age. Germany: Kehrer Verlag Heidelberg.
2006
Roberts, Cutson. Vitamin Ph: New Perspectives on Photography. London: Phaidon Press.
2005
Asthoff, Jens. Art Now Volume 2. Los Angeles: Taschen.
2004
Chicago Photographs. LaSalle Bank Photography Collection, plate 16.
2004
Heckert, Virginia. The Amazing & The Immutable, Contemporary Art Museum University of South Florida
2004
Crary, Jonathan and Will Self. Vera Lutter: Battersea. New York: Gagosian Gallery.
2004
Hug, Alfons. 26th Bienal de São Paulo. Sao Paulo: Pavilhão Ciccillo Matarazzo.
2004
Cooke, Lynne. Inside In. Graz: Kunsthaus Graz Museum/Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König.
2004
Schmidt-Wulffen, Stephan. The Room and I: The Work of Vera Lutter. Graz: Kunsthaus Graz Museum / Cologne: Verlag der Buchhandlung, Walther König.
2003
Paschal, Huston and Linda Johnson-Dougherty. Defying Gravity: Contemporary Art and Flight. North Carolina: North Carolina Museum of Art.
2003
Groetz, Thomas. Berlin 1994 – 2003. Berlin: Galerie Max Hetzler/Holzwarth Publications.
2003
Joch, Peter & Annette Lagler. Wings of Art. Darmstadt: Kunsthalle Darmstadt / Aachen: Ludwig Forum.
2003
Protzman, Ferdinand. Landscape: Photographs of Time and Place. Washington: National Geographic, p. 91
2003
Cooke, Lynne. Subjective Realities:Works from the Refco Collection of Contemporary Photography. Chicago: The Refco Group, Ltd., p. 58.
2003
Cooke, Lynne and Michael Govan. Dia Beacon. New York: Distributed Art Publishers, Inc.
2002
Rinder, Lawrence. Whitney Biennial 2002. New York: Whitney Museum of American Art / New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc.
2002
Wolf, Sylvia and Adam Grundberg. Visions from America: Photographs from the Whitney Museum of American Art, 1940-2001. New York: Prestel.
2002
Sandqvist, Gertrud. Light in Transit. Berlin: Holzwarth Publications.
2001
Fitzgerald, Caitlin & Alexander Rowley. Turn Shake Flip. New York: Eyestorm, Inc.
2001
Schwartz, Sheila. American Visionaries: Selections from the Whitney Museum of American Art. New York: Whitney Museum of American Art / New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc.
2001
Ferguson, Russell. Vera Lutter, Image Taking Shape. Basel: Kunsthalle Basel/Schwabe & Co., AG.
1999
Crary, Jonathan. Newton, Crary, Lutter. New York: Roth Horowitz LLC.
1999
Time Traced
Dia Center for the Arts, New York, 1999
1998
Bender, Thomas. New York: A Divided City. New York: Project on Cities and Urban Knowledge.
1997
CityScapes. New York: Marlborough Gallery.
1995
Felshin, Nina. Sight and Sense. New York: Hypo Bank / Munich: The Stinehour Press.