Annette Kelm’s photographs often focus on artificial arrangements of objects that look familiar and yet generate additional signification that makes them difficult to read. Her images quote the genres of still life, studio or architecture photograph, but never fully comply with the conventions governing these genres. On the contrary, they seem to defy photography’s function as a medium of either documentation or staged representation in favor of something that is both a pictorial composition and a meditation on photographic representation as such. Capturing their subjects in frontal view and in great detail, Kelm’s conceptual approach to photography keeps an air of slight impersonality and yet emphasizes the visual potential of the motifs to stand for more than just themselves. In her still lifes, everyday objects loose their original meaning to gain an unexpected new one. Paper napkins with sun motif become a picture within the picture (GOOD MORNING, 2018). Spirals develop an abstract life of their own (SHREDDED MONEY, 2019). The architecture of the RESEARCH INSTITUTE FOR HYDRAULIC ENGINEERING AND SHIPBUILDING in Berlin, too, appears as an abstract volume that does not reveal any of its functions (VERSUCHSANSTALT FÜR WASSERBAU UND SCHIFFBAU, Berlin, 2018).
Annette Kelm (b. 1975 in Stuttgart, Germany) lives and works in Berlin.
Works by Kelm are currently exhibited in group exhibitions at Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, Weserburg Museum für Modern Kunst, Bremen and at Leopold-Hoesch-Museum, Düren.
Recent solo exhibitions include "Annette Kelm – Die Bücher", Museum Frieder Burda | Salon Berlin, Berlin (2020); "Annette Kelm. Geld", Deutsche Bundesbank, Frankfurt/Main, Germany (2020); "Annette Kelm", Peter und Irene Ludwig Stiftung, Aachen, Germany (2018); "Annette Kelm: Leaves", Kestnergesellschaft, Hanover, Germany (2017).
Annette Kelm’s works are part of numerous important collections, like Centre Pompidou, Paris, France; Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, Germany; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, USA; Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, Austria; Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands and others.