Ulf Saupe belongs to that ever-growing generation of postmodern artists who have spent the last years of the 20th century as well as the first of the 21st century deepening conceptually and visually experimenting in photography with a keen and daring sense of storytelling, process, personal identity, spirituality and, in short, infusing them with a pathos that powerfully awakens the viewer’s attention through sophisticated empathy.
Nevertheless, his imaginative art does not fit easily into the existing categories of photography. This is mainly due to his unwavering childhood memories in the GDR, followed by the impact of a changing system after the fall of the wall, and resulting in an absent interest in trends but instead in creating a focus on essential and timeless subjects related to human existence.
His premeditated and unbounded decision to interweave the haptic with the spiritual has blurred into his works some of the utmost distinctions established by the contemporary artistic tradition such as between abstraction and representation or formalism and conceptualism. Furthermore, it has encouraged him to identify color and concepts as only one entity and beyond, when relating them to the sense of touch.
The specific way in which Ulf Saupe associates and connects artistic trends of his immediate past as well as contemporary makes him part of a small group of artists, such as Floris Neusüss, Adam Fuß, Roger Ballen and Julius von Bismark, who are rebuilding the medium of photography and moving away from the seemingly never-ending conservative position of producing images using apparatus. These artists, including Ulf Saupe, add multiplicity and complexity by expanding their variables and references, and demonstrate the powerful evolutionary capacity of the photography medium.
Indeed, the most easily perceptible references in Ulf Saupe’s work range from analytical conceptualism by his fellow artist Thomas Bachler as well as the biomorphic surrealism from Yves Klein, passing through the dynamic visual wisdom of German Expressionism. These are references that are not surprisingly new, until the viewer ends up intuiting that our artist has infused his works with a powerful alchemistic or even pantheistic vigor. Indeed, they are pictures inspired by parameters present in the natural world, which provide works with openness and structural security.
1979 born in Halle Saale
1999 – 2000
studied German and English at University of Kassel
2000 – 2003
studied Visual Communication and Fine Arts focused on experimental Photography in Class of Prof. Floris M. Neusüss at University of Arts in Kassel
2003 – 2006 lived in Madrid – Compultense de Madrid