Color and form, light and shadow – the images in Jessica Backhaus’ series “Cut Outs” are created using the basic elements of photography. In her previous publication “A Trilogy” (Kehrer, 2017), Jessica Backhaus took a path into abstraction that is consistently continued here – using altogether photographic means: Cut out transparent papers are arranged on a paper backdrop, exposed to the sun and photographed. The papers react to the intense heat, deform, rise, contract, cast shadows – a summer’s dance. The photographer, who arranged and staged these compositions, becomes an observer of processes over which she has only limited influence. She is the documentarist of a visual experiment, a poetic choreography of intense colors in the sunlight.
Jessica Backhaus (*1970, Cuxhaven, GER) is considered one of the most important voices in contemporary photography out of Germany today. Her work has been exhibited internationally in numerous solo and group shows, for example at the National Portrait Gallery, London, Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin and Marta Herford. In 2013, Kunsthalle Erfurt dedicated a first large-scale museum solo exhibition to her work.
Jessica Backhaus’ works also have their permanent place in important collections, for example in the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Margulies Collection, Miami, the Art Collection Deutsche Börse, Frankfurt and the ING Art Collection, Brussels. Jessica Backhaus studied photography and visual communication in Paris, spent formative years living in New York and today lives and works in Berlin. Kehrer Verlag, Heidelberg, has published eight monographs so far. „Cut Outs“, designed by Hannah Feldmeier, was published in the spring of 2021 and has been shortlisted for the Rencontres d’Arles Book Award and for the Paris Photo Aperture Foundation Award for “Photobook of the Year“.