“I wanted to portray the violent transformation of nature in the European periphery. I have experienced that the concept of wilderness, and virgin land untouched by humans, has disintegrated.” –Helene Schmitz
Mitch Epstein (born 1952, Holyoke, Massachusetts) is a fine-art photographer who helped pioneer fine-art color photography in the 1970s. His photographs are in numerous major museum collections, including New York’s Museum of Modern Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Whitney Museum of American Art; The J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and the Tate Modern in London.
Exhibitions have included Fondation A Stichting in Brussels; Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York; Thomas Zander Gallery, Cologne; Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson, Paris; Kunstmuseum Bonn; and Musee de l’Elysee in Lausann;, Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York; Galerie Les Filles du Calvaire, Paris; and Andreas Murkudis in Berlin.
In 2015, Epstein performed American Power with cellist Erik Friedlander at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis commissioned and premiered the work in 2013, which was a theatrical rendition of his photographic series. The performance combined projected photographs, archival material, video, music, and storytelling.
Epstein’s ten books include Rocks and Clouds (Steidl 2016) New York Arbor (Steidl 2013); Berlin (Steidl/The American Academy in Berlin, 2011); American Power (Steidl, 2009); Mitch Epstein: Work (Steidl, 2006); Recreation: American Photographs 1973-1988 (Steidl, 2005); and Family Business (Steidl, 2003), which won the 2004 Kraszna-Krausz Photography Book Award.
Winner of the 2011 Prix Pictet for American Power, Epstein was also awarded the 2008 Berlin Prize in Arts and Letters by the American Academy in Berlin, and a 2003 Guggenheim Fellowship.
Epstein has worked as a director, cinematographer, and production designer on several films, including Dad, Salaam Bombay!, and Mississippi Masala. He lives in New York City.