Six Degrees of Freedom

"Jessica Backhaus examines, with her latest photographic series six degrees of freedom, universal questions of human existence. Based on her own life story she inquires after the significance of knowing the roots of one's own existence and to what extent it is possible to re-elaborate these – usually prescribed– roots. Initially unconsciously, then ever more purposefully the photographer, who grew up in a family of artists, at some point in her life set off in search of her own background. On this journey she visits places of her childhood and youth and fills the gaps in her memories. With her photographs she symbolically captures the essence of this search and of her life stages. Simultaneously, she pulls off the balancing act of keeping the images open for the beholder. Her photographs possess metaphoric potential and work against the grain of a classic social documentary photography. They alternate between realism and abstraction.

Authors: Caroline von Courten, Lars Mextorf, Jessica Backhaus

Artist: Jessica Backhaus

Publisher: Kehrer Verlag, Heidelberg/Berlin

Hardcover: 22,8 x 27,4cm 112 pages 64 color and b/w ills. English/German 2015

Once, still and forever

"Once, Still and Forever" sets out a quest for traces of time and meaning – things that once were, still are and will stay forever. Some of the works in this latest photography series by Jessica Backhaus date from her last year in New York, where she made her home for 14 years. But others tell of her radical break with the past and her return to her old homeland, Europe. The personal and cultural changes honed her awareness and caused her to contemplate the fragility of our emotions and existence – thoughts the photographer translates into her own characteristic visual language. Darker nuances come to the fore in the still lifes; picture planes splinter, hinting at powerful transformations. At 16, Backhaus left Germany, only returning to Berlin 22 years later. What was once, still is and will forever remain is the artist’s infallible instinct for pictorial composition, a deftness she continues to take to new heights. Her views of ostensibly prosaic scenes open up to us a cosmos of unforeseen meanings while evoking a mood of affectionate familiarity.

Authors: Elisabeth Biondi, Jean-Christophe Ammann, Jessica Backhaus

Artist: Jessica Backhaus

Publisher: Kehrer Verlag, Heidelberg/Berlin

Hardcover: 24 x 29,5cm 88 pages 55 color ills. English/German 2012

I wanted to see the world

Jessica Backhaus is that rare photographer today who can capture nuances of everyday life in combination with a sensational feeling for color. Within all three of her published series, Jesus and the Cherries, What Still Remains and One Day in November (Kehrer 2005 and 2008), we witness the most subtle, yet vibrant use of color as it reflects off surfaces or embraces people and their possessions. It is color at the service of her subject, and she embraces the world around her with considerable tenderness and precision. In her most recent series I Wanted To See The World, we are totally immersed in her rippling colors as we see both the natural world and man-made structures in reflection on the surface of rivers and lakes. In particular the works from Venice offer the most intriguing palette of soft oranges, pale yellows and strange grays.

Editor & Author: Laurence Miller

Artist: Jessica Backhaus

Publisher: Laurence Miller Gallery, New York & Kehrer Verlag, Heidelberg/Berlin

Softcover 31 x 23 cm 80 pages 41 color ills. English 2010

One Day in November

Jessica Backhaus’ book is a tribute to Gisèle Freund on what would have been her 100th birthday in December 2008. The book One Day In November is a testament to the friendship between the great photographer and a young photography student in Paris during the 1990’s. Intended as a posthumous birthday present, Jessica Backhaus compiled a collection of images that are meant to convey visually what Gisèle Freund taught her and what Gisèle meant to her. Gisèle Freund herself can certainly be considered as one of the great artistic and intellectual figures of the twentieth century. Her impact can be traced to both her photographic and literary work and to her own colorful biography.

Author: Jessica Backhaus

Artist: Jessica Backhaus

Publisher: Kehrer Verlag, Heidelberg

Hardcover 21,5 x 24,5 cm 128 pages 99 color and 1 b/w ills. German/English/French 2008

What Still Remains

What Still Remains is the title of a photo series made up of 65 works created since 2006 in various locations. After her first book, Jesus and the Cherries, about life in rural Poland, the German-American photographer Jessica Backhaus now pursues in this new cycle of photographs the question of why things that have been forgotten or left behind pop up in specific places and then seem to take on a life of their own. Backhaus has succeeded here in capturing motifs that exude an air both sublime and enigmatic. Our gaze is transfixed as we attempt to unravel the mystery of what makes these banal objects so intriguing. In their composed beauty and expressiveness, Backhaus’ photographs are reminiscent of still life paintings. But unlike the classical paintings depicting what were often artificial tableaux of objects meant to evoke aspects of vanitas, Backhaus manages to make time and transience palpable by framing scenes she comes upon by accident.

Author: Jean Dykstra Artist: Jessica Backhaus

Publisher: Kehrer Verlag, Heidelberg

Hardcover 28 x 25 cm 96 pages 43 color ills. English 2008

What Still Remains - Collector's Edition in rusted metal box

The Collector’s edition is available with a signed and numbered C-print inserted in the book. Sheet format ca. 28 x 24 cm. Choice of two images: ”Destiny”, "Marlon Brando". Edition of 25 each.

Publisher: Kehrer Verlag, Heidelberg

Jesus and the Cherries

The photographer Jessica Backhaus has traveled in the region of the Polish province of Pomosrskie repeatedly since 1993. She spent a total of three and a half years portraying the town of Netno and its residents. She shows people in their apartments, at work, and in the untouched Polish landscape. With a sure eye and an unusual colour language, she points out important but easily overlooked details: plastic flowers and crocheted pillowcases, images of saints and lace doilies, and cherries preserved in mason jars. The pictures are neither intrusive nor tactless; she encounters people with dignity and full of admiration for the way of life of Poland’s rural population. The intimate character of the photos suggests that the German- American photographer must have developed a special relationship to her subject: In Backhaus photographs we feel the warmth, cordiality, and authenticity with which she was received in Poland. The photographers clear gaze captured the beauty of everyday details and moods. Jesus and the Cherries describes a Poland still a long way from the modernizations that full integration in the European Union will bring. Jessica Backhaus thus tells a tale of traditional ways of life that may already belong to the past.

Authors: Monica Rydiger, Stephan Schmidt-Wulffen

Artist: Jessica Backhaus

Publisher: Kehrer Verlag, Heidelberg

Hardcover 24,6 x 32,8 cm 144 pages 94 color photographs English/German 2005

Jesus and the Cherries – Limited Edition

"Jesus and the Cherries" is also available as Limited Edition: with signed original print in handmade slipcase (Atelier Dermont Duval), dust jacket with Cerata. Choice of three images: “Violetta by the lake”, “Blue Spoon”, “A Renovated life”. Edition of 25 each.

Publisher: Kehrer Verlag, Heidelberg

Jesus and the Cherries – Collector’s Edition (SOLD OUT)

This collector's edition of the book includes a signed original photograph and is housed in a handcrafted box that incorporates an authentic piece of Polish porcelain and is draped with Cerata-cloth (Atelier Dermont Duval, Paris). Choice of three images: “Olga”, “Pink Pillow”, “Carrots by the sink”. Edition of 10 each.

Publisher: Kehrer Verlag, Heidelberg

10 Photographers

In 2009 photo artist Harvey Benge had the idea of getting a group of photographers together to shoot a book in a day. On June 21st, 2010, – the day of the solstice – ten of the world’s leading photographers of today each shot a series for a book, in different places around the world. The individual concepts for the "One Day" series are as multifaceted as the work of the included artists.

Publisher: Kehrer Verlag, Heidelberg/Berlin

Ten half linen bound hardcovers in a slipcase 16,5 x 22 cm 304 pages 194 color ills. without text 2010

The world becomes more beautiful with each day

In 2009 Jessica Backhaus moved from New York to Berlin. In her work, she concentrates on her surrounding and her every day life, which is influenced deeply by the changing of her place to live. To capture the daily banal motifs, to find the poetic moments which are more than the surface, is the root of her work.

Publisher: Revolver Publishing, Berlin

Edition in a box, 3 original color prints, 35,5cm x 28cm, signed and numbered, 25 copies.

Women Photographers

Since the inception of photography as an art form nearly 200 years ago, women have played an important role in the development of the genre, often pushing boundaries and defying social convention. This comprehensive volume features fifty-five of the most important women photographers. Each artist is profiled in spreads featuring splendid reproductions of their key works and an in-depth overview of their careers and contributions to the art of photography. Biographical information for each subject and a contextual essay focusing on the impact of women in the history of the medium makes this an excellent illustrated reference.

Editor & Author: Boris Friedewald

Artists: Various

Publisher: Prestel Verlag, Munich/London/New York

Hardcover: 27,6cm x 21,6cm 240 pages English 2014

Meisterinnen des Lichts: Große Fotografinnen aus zwei Jahrhunderten

Die Geschichte der Fotografie ist auch eine Geschichte der Fotografinnen. Frauen eroberten sich dieses künstlerische Feld von Anfang an und trugen Wesentliches zu seiner Entwicklung bei. Der weibliche Blick auf die Welt ist ein anderer als der männliche – diese vermeintliche Binsenweisheit belegen die in diesem Band vereinten Fotografinnen mit ihren Arbeiten auf vielfältige, berührende und faszinierende Weise. 55 Fotografinnen aus zwei Jahrhunderten und von fünf Kontinenten werden porträtiert, darunter so berühmte Namen wie Eve Arnold, Claude Cahun, Cindy Sherman oder Herlinde Koelbl, aber auch bislang weniger bekannte Künstlerinnen wie Zanele Muholi aus Südafrika oder Shirana Shahbazi aus Teheran. Jede Fotografin wird mit einem kenntnisreichen und zugleich leicht lesbaren Text zu ihrem Leben und Werk sowie zwei bis vier repräsentativen Abbildungen ihres Schaffens vorgestellt – eine Weltgeschichte der Fotografie aus weiblicher Sicht.

Editor & Author: Boris Friedewald

Artists: Various

Publisher: Prestel Verlag, Munich/London/New York

Hardcover: 27,6cm x 21,6cm 240 pages German 2014

Photographers' Sketchbooks

This book celebrates the new creative processes of the modern photographic era, in which blogs and Instagram streams function alongside analogue albums and contact sheets, and the traditional notebook takes the form of Polaroid studies, smartphone pictures, diaristic projects, found photography, experimental image-making and self-published photo-zines. Each photographer presents his or her sketchbook: several pages of images that convey his or her working methods and thought processes. These intimate, one-off presentations are accompanied by engaging interviews that reveal how the simple act of pressing a shutter can capture and express a fully realized personal vision.

Editors & Authors: Stephen McLaren and Bryan Formhals

Artists: Various

Publisher: Thames & Hudson, London

Hardcover: 22,0cm x 29,70cm 320 pages 520 ills. English 2014

HEIMAT? Osteuropa in der zeitgenössischen Fotografie

Welche Rolle spielt die zeitgenössische Fotografie in der Diskussion des vielschichtigen Begriffs Heimat ? Als Medium, das gleichermaßen Vorstellungen prägt und Erinnerungen konstituiert? Nach dem Ende des Kalten Krieges ist die Frage nach identitätsstiftenden Bezugspunkten in den Ländern Ost- und Ostmitteleuropas besonders bedeutsam. Der Ausstellungskatalog beleuchtet diese Fragestellung vor dem Hintergrund des gesellschaftlich-politischen Wandels aus historischer wie aus aktueller Perspektive. Die in Binnen- wie in Außensicht entstandenen Bildwelten eröffnen ein Spannungsfeld zwischen Vergangenheit und Zukunft, Tradition und Fortschritt sowie lokalen und globalen Entwicklungen.

Authors: Agnes Matthias and Manfred Seifert

Artists: Various

Publisher: Kerber Verlag, Bielefeld

Softcover: 22,80cm x 27,50cm 160 pages German 2014

Atelier + Küche = Labore der Sinne

Erstmalig gegenübergestellt: Künstleratelier und Küche als sinnliche Orte der KreativitätDie Nähe zwischen künstlerischem Schaffen und Kochkunst ist faszinierend und dennoch wenig beachtet. Die Publikation richtet den Blick auf das facettenreiche Verhältnis beider Produktionsstätten als Arbeitsräume freier Inspiration und geheimer Alchemie, als Orte kreativen Chaos und ordnenden Denkens sowie sozialer Repräsentation individuellen Rückzugs. Die Bedeutung und Darstellung von Atelier und Küche heute und in der Geschichte werden betrachtet: Künstlerische Arbeitsstätten haben sich von handwerklichen Meisterbetrieben über repräsentative Ateliers und fabrikähnliche Lofts zu hochtechnisierten Multimedia-Labs entwickelt. Parallel vollzog sich der Wandel von der archaischen Feuerstelle über die bäuerliche Wohn- und effiziente Garküche zur High-Tech-Ausstattunf. Gezeigt werden Holzstiche aus dem 16. Jahrhundert und Gemälde des Goldenen Zeitalters Pieter Bruegels d. Ä. sowie Arbeiten von Joseph Beuys, Andy Warhol und Zeitgenossen wie Cindy Sherman und Erwin Wurm.

Editor: MARTa Herford

Artists: Various

Publisher: Hatje Cantz, Ostfildern

Hardcover: 29,0cm x 22,6cm 272 pages English/German 2012

XL Photography 3. Art Collection Deutsche Börse

Die Deutsche Börse Group in Frankfurt konnte ihre Fotosammlung Art Collection Deutsche Börse an den Hauptsitzen in Deutschland und Luxemburg in den letzten Jahren um eine Vielzahl von großformatigen Werken vorwiegend jüngerer Künstler erweitern. Fotokünstler nutzen eine nie gekannte Vielfalt an Gestaltungs- und Ausdrucksmöglichkeiten. Über einen reinen Sammlungsband hinausgehend, präsentiert so der repräsentativ und aufwendig ausgestattete, großformatige dritte Bildband der erfolgreichen Reihe, XL Photography 3, alle wesentlichen Positionen der Fotokunst der letzten zehn Jahre: Paul Almasy, Jessica Backhaus, Sibylle Bergemann, Pietro Donzelli, Alberto Garcia Alix, Seydou Keï ta, Yoon Jean Lee, Boris Mikhailov, Simon Norfolk, Martin Parr, Simon Roberts, Ricarda Roggan, Wilhelm Schürmann, Alfred Seiland, Malick Sidibé, Alec Soth und Joel Sternfeld. Authors: Felix Höpfner, Ulrich Meißner, Nicolas Nonnenmacher, Anne-Marie Beckmann

Artists: Various

Publisher: Hatje Cantz, Ostfildern

Hardcover: 32,6cm x 32,2cm 144 pages German 2007

Copyright © Jessica Backhaus 2017 all rights reserved