Helene Schmitz

(b. 1960, Stockholm)

Helene Schmitz’s photography explores humankind’s complicated relation to nature, time and the transience of being. In her earlier photographic works she has been interested in natural philosophers of the eighteenth century. Her later works can be regarded as meditations on how the discourse of the Enlightenment is inscribed within contemporary landscapes.

Helene Schmitz studied at Stockholm University. She has a BA in Film and Art History. Her numerous solo shows in Sweden include Tomelilla Konsthall (2020), Prins Eugens Waldemarsudde (2018), Skellefteå Konsthall (2017), Fotografiska Stockholm (2016), Dunkers Kulturhus Helsingborg (2015), Kristinehamns Konstmuseum (2012), and Galleri Leger Malmö (2007). She has participated in several group exhibitions, including A Way Away Landskrona Museum and Etnografiska Museet Stockholm (2018, 2019), Struktur Avesta Art (2016) and Another Story at Moderna Museet Stockholm (2011).

Schmitz is also active internationally and has been shown at Fotografiska New York (2020) Fotografiska Tallinn (2020), Fotografisk Center Copenhagen (2019), Turn Gallery New York (2017, 2015), Willas Contemporary Oslo (2016), Galerie Maria Lund Paris (2013, 2016) and Centre Culturel Suèdois in Paris (2007). International group shows include Feral Atlas Collective, Sharjah Architecture Triennial (2019), Feral Atlas Collective, Istanbul Biennial (2019), Herbarium Fotografi og Botanik Fotografisk Center Copenhagen (2017), QPN #19 CHAOS Nantes (2015), Art’15 London (2015) and Maison de la Photographie Lille (2010).

Schmitz’s artistic œuvre has also been featured in several award-winning books where she has collaborated with writers, philosophers and historians of ideas, including Thinking Like a Mountain (2018), Borderlands (2015), Ur Regnskogens Skugga (2011), System och Passion (2007) and Blow Up (2003).

The book Thinking Like a Mountain won the Swedish Publishing Prize in 2019. Both Blow Up and Ur Regnskogens Skugga were nominated for the August Prize, and System och Passion has been translated into English (A Passion for Systems), French and Japanese. Schmitz was also commissioned to design stamps for the Swedish post office (Post Nord) in 2015. She is represented in many prominent collections: The Danish Agency for Culture, the National Public Art Council Sweden, Oslo Municipality Norway, Moderna Museet Sweden, the SEB Collection Sweden, the Cultural Administration of the Stockholm County Council, and in numerous Swedish and international private collections.