Annette Kelm

Biography of Annette Kelm

Inspired by still life and portrait photography as well as the visual language of advertising, conceptual artist Annette Kelm's career is on the rise. Exposing the strategies and conditions of design and fashion photography, Kelm's bright color palette and clean seductive images draw the viewer in as if marketing a luxury product. Yet something is wrong with her shiny compositions—the immaculate pastel illusion is quickly shattered, or rather cleverly undercut, by Kelm deliberately showing the setup of her photographs, revealing the hands holding the item to be shot or the floor surrounding it.


Exploring the iconography of the decorative, Annette Kelm instills her analogue prints with a keen intellectuality. Her eye clearly identifies the grammar of commercial imagery and turns it into a cerebral pursuit, investigating how meaning is constructed in different contexts, the artist stating "I'd find it boring if a photo only permitted one interpretation." Fused with a fascination for the assembly of disparate objects and patterned textiles, Kelm's multifaceted work is more demanding than it looks, tripping the viewer up with the strangeness and artifice of its narratives.


Annette Kelm was born in 1975 in Stuttgart and now lives and works in Berlin. She is the winner of several awards, including the 2015 Camera Austria Award for Contemporary Photography and the ART COLOGNE Award for Young Art in 2005. Kelm's work is exhibited internationally, notably in solo shows at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit in 2016 and at the KW - Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, in 2009. Her extraordinary images are in the collections of the most renowned museums in the world including the Centre Pompidou, Paris; Tate Modern, London; MoMA, New York, as well as the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York.

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