Biography of Erik Schmidt
German artist Erik Schmidt creates works that engage with processes and traditions that are integral in different social contexts. Through paintings, videos, photographs and drawings he immerses himself in foreign cultures and lives, but always maintains his own position as an outsider. Erik Schmidt’s work provides distinct insight into the rituals, conventions and stereotypes of various groups and social subsystems around the world.
Erik Schmidt was born in 1968 in Herford, Germany but has spent time living in many places, all of which have informed his practice. In 2015 he lived in Japan, and created a series of paintings and photographs inspired by the crowded urban landscapes of Tokyo. He also spent time in the camps of the American Occupy movement, and with wine producers in the West Bank. Some of Erik Schmidt’s most powerful works depict the aristocratic hunting circles of his native North Rhine-Westphalia. Titled Der Schönste Jäger von Deutschland, these works are informed by the artist’s signature inquisitive gaze, providing viewers access to an otherwise fairly private world, yet also possess a sense of personal biography.
Erik Schmidt has participated in solo exhibitions at international institutions such as carlier | gebauer in Berlin, Leopold-Hoesch-Museum in Düren, Haus am Waldsee in Berlin; MARTa in Herford and in group shows at Artists Space in New York, MARTa Herford, Kunsthalle Hamburg, Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin, KW Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin; Matsumoto City Museum of Art in Japan; and Museum der Moderne, Salzburg. He currently lives and works in Berlin.