Sarah Johanna Eick’s work feels like an extended road trip. Since 2001, the photographer has traversed the United States in search of locations that have stories to tell. With a sense of nostalgia and a hint of irony, she presents drugstore facades, rows of houses, vintage cars and pickups; the unique colour and remarkable lighting make the scenes seem like daydreams of everyday American life.
Although Eick’s tends to frame her photographs of small towns as partial views, she is still able to portray the sheer vastness of the landscape and bring the viewer closer to the infinite prairies. In the tranquil afternoon sun, short, narrow shadows fall upon the asphalt. Tilted signs with large letters promulgate the towns’ patriotism, shopkeepers and businesses. Eick captures this unique atmosphere, these sensational colours, on celluloid. We are reminded of Steven Shore’s “American Surface”, which is now recognised as an iconic series in the history of colour photography. Like Shore, Eick produces works that are captivating in their ostensible casualness and powerful narrative.
More than anything, the photographer plays with American clichés. Most of her subjects are already familiar to us: places that have appeared in films, TV shows, and works by other photographers. However, they offer an alternative perspective – we have the feeling we are rediscovering these well-known places.
After studying Art History, Philosophy, and Applied Cultural Sciences in Münster, Eick focused on painting. She eventually came to photography through her father, Hans Eick, who is a photographer and artist. Countless exhibitions soon followed, including at the Museum für Kommunikation in Berlin, Galerie König in Münster, and the Red Arrow Gallery in Joshua Tree, California.
|1974||Born in Münster, Germany|
|Studied Art History, Philosophy, and Applied Cultural Science at the University of Münster, Germany|
|Lives and works in Berlin, Germany|
|2013||Mobile Art Europe, Museum für Kommunikation, Berlin, Germany|
|2012||Voicehearers, The Red Arrow Gallery, Joshua Tree, California, USA|
|2011||Hear the Voices, Galerie R31, Berlin, Germany|
|2009||Drive in, Galerie König, Münster, Germany|
|2001||Abflug, Galerie Abflug, Berlin, Germany|