The Transparent CityPhotographs by Michael Wolf
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Chicago has recently undergone a surge of new construction, grafting a new layer of architectural experimentation onto those of past eras. In early 2007, the Museum of Contemporary Photography, with the support of U.S. Equities Realty, invited Michael Wolf as an artist-in-residence. Bringing his unique perspective on changing urban environments to a city renowned for its architectural legacy, Wolf chose to photograph the central downtown area, focusing on issues of voyeurism and the contemporary urban landscape.
In The Transparent City, his details are fragments of life—digitally distorted and hyper-enlarged—snatched surreptitiously via telephoto lenses: Edward Hopper meets Blade Runner. The material resonates with all the formalism of the constructed, architectonic work for which Wolf is well-known, but also emphasizes the conceptual underpinnings of his ongoing engagement with the idea of how modern life unfolds within the framework of the ever-growing contemporary city.
The Transparent City was made possible, in part, by generous support from Kay and Matthew Bucksbaum.
Michael Wolf (born in Munich, 1954) grew up in the United States, and studied at UC Berkeley and with Otto Steinert at the University of Essen in Germany. Two previous books—Sitting in China (2002) and Hong Kong, Front Door/Back Door (2005)—feature his much acclaimed photographs of China. Wolf lives and works in Hong Kong and Paris.