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Reiner Leist

Professor of Art/ Photography


Born in Germany in 1964, Reiner Leist emigrated twice, from Germany to South Africa (1988-1994) and then from South Africa to the United States. His works are ongoing—often participatory—projects that examine the relationship between individual lives and societies, history, landscape and architecture. He studied Visual Arts and Photography at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Munich, Germany, the University of Cape Town, South Africa and the School of Visual Arts, New York. Leist approaches his subject matter through extensive long-term projects. For South Africa: Blue Portraits he interviewed and portrayed 200 participants from 1989 until 1993.

Leist began his Window project in 1995, one year after moving to New York. Since its initiation, he has photographed the view (almost) daily from his apartment in the city. American Portraits, which pairs portraits of notable individuals from the present and childhood, was begun in 1995 and published in 2001. Since 2001 Leist has worked on projects in Japan and Vietnam. Numerous exhibitions have been held of his work, including the Fotomuseum München, Stiftung Moritzburg, Halle, Meridian International Center, Washington, D.C. and Chuo Library, Musashino, Tokyo. Leist taught at the Visual Arts Program at MIT, Cambridge, Mass. from 2000 until 2003. He now teaches Visual Art at Hunter College, City University of New York with a focus on photography.

The installation Window was recently on exhibition at the Fotomuseum in Berlin in its entirety until January 2007, and Prestel has published Window Eleven Septembers, Leist's fourth monograph, in conjunction with the Berlin and New York exhibitions. Reiner Leist is represented by Julie Saul Gallery in New York City and Galerie Walter Storms, Munich, Germany.

2010: Exhibitions:Museum für Fotografie (Group exhibition)Thu 27 May - Sun 5 September 2010; A New View Architectural Photography from the National Museums in Berlin

2009: Exhibitions: Reiner Leist: Window (One person exhibition) Munich, Germany, Galerie Walter Storms, München, 2009, (January 16–February 21, 2009); Reiner Leist: Seven Minutes (Group exhibition, Biennale)Incheon, Korea, 2009 IWAB Tuning (August 1-August 31, 2009) Curator: Heng-Gil Han

Publications: Artist Book produced for the exhibition: Reiner Leist, Seven Minutes Published in conjunction with IWABiennale, Tuning, 2009 with Essays by Yeji Jun, Jeong Mee Yoon, Theresa Chong, Suh Seung Hee. Concept, design and photographs Reiner Leist, 108 pages, Paperback, in English and Korean.

Exhibition catalogue for show: IWA Biennale, Incheon, Korea

Artist pages in Exhibition catalogue: pages 166-168, published by the IWAB Organizing Committee Incheon Metropolitan City, 2009

Lecture: Reiner Leist, Site and Biography, Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town, South Africa; Visiting Artist Lunchtime Lecture Reiner Leist, April 2009