Michael Schnabel’s sophisticated landscapes with quiet mountains, almost unrealistic and abstract, in his series ‘Stille Berge’ and ‘Weisses Land Skizzen’ – capturing the majestic silence of the Alps through mastering the lightest and the darkest verges of tranquility.
Unlikely the typical romantic Alpine Idyll, these panoramas of gigantic bodies can be sensed by contours, lines and shapes blended in such a harmonious way that you can feel the mountain more than you can see it. They are like graphic compositions of the infinite calmness and grandeur, drawn with the silk of the day and the velvet of the night.
“The night and its silence gives the mountains a sublimity, feeling of raw creation and aloofness that I strived to capture in my work. Exposure times were about an hour; a sharp contrast to the city images which required only a few minutes. Focusing and even framing the image through the ground glass was another issue, as there was precious little to see under the low light conditions… Sometimes it was so dark, that I oriented myself only with the compass… Even at night there are colors in nature; they are important to me, even if they are very subtle.”
“In these raw virgin landscapes I found tranquility, not only at night, but also during the day. This allowed me to work during the day. These locations have a clarity and depth that one can feel. This body of work is a subjective image of these awe inspiring natural spaces where I am – once again – experimenting with the boundaries of photography as they relate to paintings or works on paper which is best noticeable in the original.”