Annette Kelm “Present Past Perfect”

kaufmann repetto/ Bortolami /55 Walker St.

poster for Annette Kelm “Present Past Perfect”
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Andrew Kreps Gallery is pleased to announce Present Past Perfect an exhibition of new photographs by Annette Kelm at 55 Walker.

In her work, Kelm moves freely between studio, and documentary photography to explore the function and history of objects, as well as the implications of their representation. A series of new photographs document ephemeral still lives built in her studio, combining colored paper and cardstock backdrops, with vegetation and found objects. Ultimately, these contemporary Vanitas-like compositions are left open-ended, as Kelm discloses their constructed nature, as seen in works like Sumach / Essigbaum, 2023, where the edge of a table and curve of the backdrop suggest the provisional process of the works’ making. Through this strategy, Kelm explores the implications of the framing and display of objects, as well as the value systems in which they exist.

A new series of photographs documenting vintage button pins continue Kelm’s ongoing exploration into the graphic manifestations of protest. Adorned with slogans such as “Keep Abortion Legal” and “If his home is his castle, let him clean it”, each button pin is affixed to a uniformly cropped jean jacket. Sharing an overhead view, and a serial format, the varying placement of each button suggests the individuality of an imagined wearer, culminating in a crowded, all-over composition.

Kelm’s interest in the socio-cultural history of objects is evoked in her 2019 series Recyclingpark Neckartal, presented here for the first time in the United States. The series documents 14 travertine columns originally commissioned by the National Socialists from Lauster quarry in Stuttgart in the 1930s, as part of an unrealized monument to Benito Mussolini planned for “Germania”, the planned reconstruction of Berlin overseen by Albert Speer. Kelm captures these in multiple angles in their current location, a recycling center. Seen through trees and brush, the columns stand overshadowed by a towering waste incinerator, surrounded by parked cars and traces of activity. Together, these views suggest the often uneasy approach society takes to addressing its dark past.

Annette Kelm (b. 1975, Stuttgart, Germany) lives and works in Berlin. Solo exhibitions of the artist’s work have been presented at numerous international institutions, including ICA Milano, 2022, Kunsthalle zu Kiel, 2022, Museum Frieder Burda | Salon Berlin, 2020, the Fosun Foundation, Shanghai, 2018, Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, 2018, Kestnergesellschaft, Hannover, 2017, Museum of Contemporary Art, Detroit, 2016, Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne, 2014, Bonner Kunstverein, Bonn, Germany, 2011 and KW – Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, 2009, among others. In addition to her participation in the 54th Venice Biennale, 2011, Kelm’s work has been part of important institutional group exhibitions including Triennial for Photography and New Media, Henie Onstad Kunstsenter, Hovikodden, Norway, 2020, Tell me about yesterday tomorrow, Munich Documentation Centre for the History of National Socialism, Munich, Germany, 2019, Collected by Thea Westreich Wagner and Ethan Wagner, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 2015, traveled to Centre Pompidou, Paris, 2016, and New Photography, MoMA, New York, 2013, among others.Kelm’s work is represented in the permanent collections of Hamburger Kunsthalle; Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, Kunsthalle zu Kiel, Tate Modern, London; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Centre Pompidou, Paris; Kunsthaus Zürich, Switzerland; and the Guggenheim Museum, New York.



from February 24, 2023 to March 25, 2023


Annette Kelm

Website (venue's website)



Venue Hours

From 10:00 To 18:00
Closed on Mondays, Sundays


Address: 55 Walker St., New York, NY 10013
Phone: 917-388-3580

Between Church St. and Broadway. Subway: 6 or B/D/N/R to Canal Street.

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