Polaroid is dedicated to celebrating artists from across a spectrum of disciplines that have been created with our film and cameras.
ROBBY MÜLLER: LIKE SUNLIGHT COMING THROUGH THE CLOUDS
Polaroid presents Robby Müller: Like Sunlight Coming Through The Clouds; the first major exhibition dedicated to the Polaroid photography of the legendary Dutch cinematographer since his passing in July 2018 (b. 1940, Curaçao – d. 2018, Amsterdam).
These indelible works will be exhibited at the Place de la République 12, Arles, France, concurrent with Les Rencontres D’Arles for the 50th anniversary of the renowned photography festival from 1 – 28 July 2019.
Known for his pioneering camerawork and virtuoso lighting, Müller was one of the most important cinematographers in modern film history. His left-field vision imprinted itself in cinema over the course of an illustrious career, marked by long-term collaborations with directors Wim Wenders, Jim Jarmusch and Lars von Trier on films such as Paris, Texas (1984), Down By Law (1986) and Breaking the Waves (1996).
A lesser-known facet of Müller’s artistic output is his vast body of work in Polaroid works. Taken with Polaroid SX-70, 600 and Spectra type cameras and film, his atmospheric photographs acted as his visual notebook, and provide a fascinating insight into the artists’ experimental standpoint. In his spare moments in-between filming, he would chronicle the everyday: Cadillac cars, still-lifes, hotel rooms, natural forms and the abstract patterns in urban landscapes across the US and in other foreign cities; always composing these within the iconic Polaroid classic border format.
Throughout the Polaroid works are examples of Müller’s natural sensitivity and control over light, often shooting at twilight, the ‘blue hour’, to create otherworldly tableaus, demonstrating a clear line between his Polaroids pictures and the films Müller shot. These silent moments display the working mind and eye of Müller; perfectly fusing his most memorable cinematic compositions with his experimental work as a photographer.
With this exhibition, over 100 personal and unseen Polaroid photos shot from the early 1970s until the late 1990s will go on display, alongside ephemera and edition prints. Visitors to Arles will have the rare opportunity to discover new aspects of Müller’s photographic eye, characterised by the same poetic aesthetic that infused his filmic imagery and heralded him as a ‘master of light’.
An unseen series of Müller’s Polaroid pictures will also be shown; revealing the artist’s personal interest in nature. Influenced by his childhood spent growing up in Indonesia, Müller discovered a lifelong love for the rich landscape and the flora and fauna that flourished there; for a time even considering a career as a biologist. Wherever Müller visited in the world, the botanical gardens, parks or forests would catch his imagination, documenting the shape, fragility and the unique growth patterns. Müller used the ability of Polaroid cameras and film to intensify and alienate certain hues to capture these botanical moments, and continued to do so throughout his life.
Born on the Island of Curaçao in 1940, then part of the Netherlands Antilles, Müller’s family moved to Indonesia before relocating to Amsterdam when Müller was 13 years old. After studying at the Netherlands Film Academy, he became an apprentice to cinematographer Gerard Vandenberg and worked as a camera assistant on a number of his features in Holland and Germany, graduating to director of photography on short films – one of which, Alabama (2000 Light Years), was for the then Munich Film School student, Wim Wenders. Müller has made significant contribution to the success of a whole generation of independent film auteurs who emerged from the 1970s onwards. He is one of the few camera artists, such as Vittorio Storaro, Nestor Almendros and Sven Nykvist, who successfully juggled careers in art films, in the Hollywood mainstream, and in highly personal films of indie directors.
‘Polaroid is dedicated to celebrating artists from across a spectrum of disciplines that have been created with our film and cameras. We’re always interested in artists who show the world to be a humane place, and through their work, an understanding of what matters, on an emotional level.’
— Oskar Smolokowski, CEO of Polaroid BV
This exhibition has been curated by the wife of the artist, Andrea Müller-Schirmer, Art Historian and Image Editor for the Dutch art magazine Kunstschrift; and organised with the cooperation of Annet Gelink Gallery, Amsterdam; with the support of the Polaroid Art and Culture team.
Opening Times: Tues – Sun, 11:00 – 19:00 / Mon by email appointment only
Address: Place de la République 12, Arles, France 13200
For interview requests, press materials and more information contact:
Max Bellman, Global PR Manager
Phone: +31 6 38 17 02 55
More information available on request.
The Polaroid company, founded by Edwin Land in 1937, is an icon of American innovation and engineering prowess. Polaroid created instant photography as we know it today with the launch of the breakthrough Polaroid SX-70 camera in 1972, followed by landmark innovations such as the original OneStep, color instant film, and the Polaroid 600 and Spectra cameras and film
formats. Artists who used and were inspired by these cameras, including Andy Warhol, Helmut Newton, Robert Mapplethorpe, Maripol, KeithHaring and Guy Bourdin. They raised Polaroid to the status of a cultural icon.
In the 1990’s and 2000’s, the swift rise of digital technology eclipsed instant photography and Polaroid announced the end of instant film production in 2008. A dedicated group of instant photography fans called The Impossible Project stepped in to buy the last remaining Polaroid factory and since then have been the only people in the world making film for vintage Polaroid cameras. The acquisition of the Polaroid brand by The Impossible Project’s largest shareholder in Spring 2017, created the opportunity for Polaroid to return to analog instant photography and for The Impossible Project to declare mission accomplished.
Polaroid Originals is the new brand dedicated to reinventing analog instant photography for the modern era. The brand’s launch on September 13th, 2017 marked the 80th anniversary of the founding of Polaroid.
Polaroid, Polaroid Originals & Design, Polaroid OneStep, Polaroid SX-70, Polaroid 600, and Polaroid Spectra are trademarks of PLR IP Holdings, LLC, used under license.