Wim Wenders (b.1945 Düsseldorf, Germany) is one of the most important figures to emerge from the New German Cinema period of the 1970s. Alongside directing atmospheric auteur films the artist works with the medium of photography, and his poignant images of desolate landscapes engage themes including memory, time, loss, nostalgia and movement.

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Wim Wenders by Peter Lindbergh, 2015

GALLERY EXHIBITIONS

Blain|Southern Berlin
A Walking Shadow

A Walking Shadow

13 February – 6 April 2019

Blain|Southern London
Early Works: 1964 — 1984

Early Works: 1964 — 1984

23 March – 5 May 2018

Blain|Southern Berlin
Time Capsules. By the side of the road.

Time Capsules. By the side of the road.

17 September – 14 November 2015

INSTITUTIONS

Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2019

Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2019

10 June – 12 August 2019

Royal Academy of Arts, London, UK

Prehistory, A Modern Enigma

Prehistory, A Modern Enigma

8 May – 16 September 2019

Centre Pompidou, Paris, FR

(E)motion

(E)motion

18 April – 22 April 2019

Grand Palais, Nef, Paris, FR

SHOP

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Wim Wenders, In Sydney (Early 1980s), C-print

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Wim Wenders, Instant Stories

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Wim Wenders, Writings on 'Early Works: 1964-1984'

BIOGRAPHY

Wenders’ long-running artistic project, Pictures from the Surface of the Earth, began in the early 1980s and was subsequently pursued by the artist for the next twenty years. The initial photographic series in this body of work was titled Written in the West which Wenders produced when criss-crossing through the American West in preparation for his film Paris, Texas (1984). This became the starting point for the artist’s nomadic journey across the globe, travelling through countries including Germany, Australia, Cuba, Israel and Japan to take photographs which capture the essence of a moment, place or space.

There is an honesty to the artist’s image making whereby each photographic frame has been precisely selected and defined so as to minimise any need for manipulation to the film negative. Wenders has described his dislike of the notion of the tourist, vacantly and haphazardly snapping away at the landscape; he articulates how the equilibrium of a photograph must be in balance at the time the shot is taken so that colour, composition and subject are in perfect harmony. Accordingly, the artist’s choice of camera and film has always been of the utmost importance to him, and whilst he began using 35mm Polaroid cameras, he has since worked with medium-sized formats using the Plaubel Makina 6 x 7 and a Fuji 6 x 17 panoramic. These cameras allow for Wenders to produce large-format prints which envelope the viewer, engulfing their field of vision and presenting an intimate encounter with the space that each image captures.

Paradoxically, what often holds powerful presence within each photograph is the notion of disappearance or desertion, and resultantly, it is often inanimate objects which suggest a latent narrative. An empty, yellowing hotel lobby contains a semi-circle of brightly coloured armchairs which radiate against a grey pebble-dashed wall; a deserted tarmac road accentuates the fire-engine red of a SAFEWAY sign, its solid dark shadow forming a distorted double of this brand’s typography; a barren and dry desert landscape sings against a the clear purity of an azure-blue sky. Wenders once said that photography is akin to ‘watching death at work,' as the unique moments that a negative captures will then change—the architecture or people in the images will disappear with time.

Wenders studied medicine and philosophy before settling in Paris as a painter and engraver at Johnny Friedländer’s studio in 1966. His career as a filmmaker began in 1967, when he enrolled at the newly founded Academy of Film and Television, Munich. By the late 1960s he had made several short films, some of which were influenced by American artists including Andy Warhol—these were characterised by their long and uneventful scenes. Along with fifteen other directors and writers, in 1971 he founded the company Film Verlag der Autoren, then directing his Road Movie Trilogy Alice in the Cities (1973), The Wrong Move (1974) and Kings of the Road (1975), where his characters confront their lack of roots in post-war Germany.

He won the Golden Palm at Cannes Film Festival in 1984 along with the Best Director award at the BAFTAs for his film Paris, Texas. His film The State of Things (1982) was awarded the Golden Lion in Venice. The artist’s critically acclaimed film Wings of Desire was made in 1987, winning him the Best Director award at Cannes. With a strong love of music, Wenders’ best-known observational piece is the documentary Buena Vista Social Club (1999), this film subsequently received an Oscar nomination. His films Pina (2011) and The Salt of the Earth (2014) have also been nominated for an Oscar. At the Berlin International Film Festival he won the Silver Bear for The Million Dollar Hotel (2000). During the 65. Berlin International Film Festivals, Wenders was presented with the Honorary Golden Bear for his lifetime achievement. Every Thing will be fine was part of the official program. His feature film Les Beaux Jours d’Aranjuez, with a script based on the play from the Austrian writer Peter Handke, was shot in 3D in 2015 and premiered at the 73rd Venice International Film Festival 2016. His latest film Submergence based on Jonathan M. Ledgard’s starring Academy Award winner Alicia Vikander and James McAvoy will have its World premier at the Toronto International Film Festival this year and on the occasion of the German Premiere at Filmfest Hamburg, Wim will be presented the Douglas Sirk Award for his outstanding achievements within the film industry and film culture.

Wenders became a member of the Academy of Arts Berlin in 1984. He was awarded honorary doctorates at the Sorbonne University in Paris (1989), the Theological Faculty of University of Fribourg (1995), the University of Louvain (2005) and the Architectural Faculty of the University of Catania (2010). He is presently the European Film Academy president and is a member of the order Pour le Mérite. He was teaching film as a professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Hamburg for twenty years until 2017.

Since 1986, Wenders' photographs have been exhibited internationally at museums and galleries including the Centre Pompidou, Paris, FR (1986), Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin, DE (2001), the Guggenheim Bilbao, ES (2002), the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, AU (2003), the Shanghai Museum of Art, CN (2004), the Scuderie del Quirinale in Rome, IT (2006), the Museu de Arte de São Paulo, BR (2010), the Deichtorhallen, Hamburg, DE and Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow, RU (2012), the Fundació Sorigué, Lleida, ES (2013), the Villa Pignatelli, Naples, IT and GL Strand, Copenhagen, DK (2014), Stiftung Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf, DE (2015), The Photographers' Gallery, London, UK (2017), the C/O, Berlin, DE (2018) and the METRO Kinokulturhaus, Vienna, AT (2019). Also in 2019, Wim Wenders presents (E)motion, a monumental cinematographic installation projected on the interior structure of the Nave of the Grand Palais, Paris.


Wim Wenders

1945, Born in Düsseldorf, DE Lives and works in Berlin, DE

EDUCATION

1970
Hochschule für Fernsehen und Film, Munich, DE

1963-5
Studied medicine and philosophy in Munich, Freiburg and Düsseldorf, DE

AWARDS AND HONORARY TITLES

2018
Honorary Royal Academian, Royal Academy of Arts, London, UK
Charles Eliot Norton Professorship in Poetry, Wide Angle: The Norton Lectures on Cinema, Harvard University, US
A Tribute to…Award, Filmfest Zurich, CH Bronzo Dorato Lifetime Achievement Award, International Film Festival of Poetic Animation, Pergola, IT
Lifetime Achievement Award, DOC NYC Film Festival, US

2017
Helena Vaz da Silva European Award for Raising Public Awareness on Cultural Heritage, Lisbon, PT
Hans Ehrenberg Prize, Bochum, DE
Dougals Sirk Award, Filmfest Hamburg, DE

2016
Großer Kulturpreis, Sparkassen-Kulturstiftung Rheinland, Düsseldorf, DE

2015
Order of Merit of the State of Berlin, DE
Golden Bear for lifetime achievement, Berlin, DE Tribute to Wim Wenders, Lisbon & Estoril Film Festival, PT
Homage and Honorary Golden Bear for his lifetime achievement, 65th Berlin International Film Festival, DE

2010
Honorary Doctorate, Architectural Faculty of the University of Catania, IT

2005
Honorary Doctorate, University of Louvain, BE
Member of the Order Pour le Mérite, DE

2001
Professor at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste (School of Fine Arts), Hamburg, DE

1996
President of the European Film Academy, Berlin, DE

1995

Honorary Doctorate in Divinity, Fribourg University, CH

1993
Honorary Professor at University of Film and Television, Munich, DE

1991
Chairman of the European Film Academy, Berlin, DE Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau Award, Bielefeld, DE

1989
Honorary Doctorate, Sorbonne, Paris, FR

1984
Elected member of the Akademie der Künste, Berlin, DE

SELECTED FILM AWARDS

2015
The Salt of the Earth, Oscar® Nominee in the category Best Documentary Feature
The Salt of the Earth, César for Best Documentary Film

2014
The Salt of the Earth, Special Prize of the Jury Un Certain Regard, Festival de Cannes

2012
PINA, Oscar® Nominee, Best Documentary Feature

2011
PINA, Gilde Film Prize, Best Documentary; German Documentary Film Prize, Dokville (Ludwigsburg, DE); European Film Academy Documentary Price ARTE; European Film Awards, Best Documentary

2009
Buena Vista Social Club, German Film Award in Gold, Best Documentary; ”Le Nombre d’Or”, International Widescreen Festival – Production Solution Award; Noosa Film Festival, Best Documentary; Box Office Germany Award – BOGEY – for more than 1000 admissions per release print

2008
Palermo Shooting, Festival de Cannes (official selection)

2005
Don’t Come Knocking, European Film Award for Best Camera

2004
The Robert Bresson Award, Vatican
Master of Cinema, International Filmfestival Mannheim-Heidelberg, DE Land of Plenty: UNESCO Award, Venice Film Festival

2003
The Soul of a Man, Emmy Award; Audience Award for Best Documentary, São Paulo Film Festival

2000
The Million Dollar Hotel: Silver Bear, Jury Prize, Berlin International Film Festival

1999
BUENA VISTA SOCIAL CLUB: Best Documentary Feature, Oscar® Nominee; European Film Academy Documentary Price ARTE, European Film Award; Best Documentary, German Filmprize; Best Documentary, New York Film Critics; Best Documentary, National Society of Film Critics; Standard Life Audience Award, Edinburgh International Film Festival; Best Documentary, National Board of Review; Golden Space Needle Best Documentary, Seattle Film Festival

1997
The End of Violence, Best Director, German Film Prize

1996
A Trick of the Light, German Short Film Award in Silver; Friedrich-Wilhelm-Murnau Award

1994
Beyond the Clouds, Venice Film Festival, FIPRESCI Award; David di Donatello Award, Best Cinematography; Silver Ribbon, Italian Film Journalists, Best Score
Lisbon Story, Official Selection at Cannes Film Festival, Un Certain Regard

1993
Far Away, So Close!, Grand Jury Prize, Festival de Cannes; Best Director, Bavarian Film

1992
Until the End of the World, Guild Award in Gold: Best German Film

1987
WINGS OF DESIRE: Best Director, Festival de Cannes; Best Director, European Film Prize; Best Foreign Film & Photography, Los Angeles Film Critics Award; Best Photography, New York Film Critics Circle; Best Director, German Film Award; Best Director, Bavarian Film Award; Independent Spirit Award; Best German Film, Guild Award in Silver

1985
Tokyo-Ga, Outstanding film of the year, London Film Festival

1984
PARIS, TEXAS: Golden Palm, Festival de Cannes; Best Director, British Academy
Awards; Prize of the French Film Critics; Best Production German Film Prize

1982
The State of Things, Golden Lion Prize and Fipresci Prize, Venice Film Festival, Best Production, German Film Award

1981
Nick’s Film – Lightning over Water, Best Production, German Film Award

1978
The American Friend: Best Director, Best Editing and Best Production, German Film Prize

1976
Kings of the Road: Golden Hugo, Chicago; Festival de Cannes, Fipresci Award, Festival de Cannes

1975
Wrong Move, Best Director; Best Screenplay and Best Cinematography, German Film Prize

1972
The Goalie’s anxiety at the Penalty Kick: Fipresci Award, Venice Film Festival

SELECTED EXHIBITIONS

2019
(E)motion, Grand Palais, Paris, FR
A Walking Shadow, Blain|Southern, Berlin, DE
Early Photographs 1960s-80s, METRO Kinokulturhaus, Vienna, AT
Weltreisender, (film retrospective), METRO Kinokulturhaus, Vienna AT

2018
Wim Wenders. Water Works, Atrium des Medienzentrum, Publishing house Passau, DE
The Times, They Are-a Changin, Galerie Bastian, Berlin, DE
Leiko Ikemura im Dialog mit Donata und Wim Wenders, Max Libermann Haus, Sifting Brandenburger Tor, Berlin, DE
Wim Wenders, Early Works: 1964 – 1984
, Blain|Southern, London, UK

2017
Instant Stories. Wim Wenders’ Polaroids, The Photographers’ Gallery, London, UK; C/O Berlin, DE
Land of Plenty, Galerie Bastian, Berlin, DE
Derain, Balthus, Giacometti, An Artistic Friendship, Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, FR; Fundación MAPFRE, Madrid, ES

2015
The Space Between The Characters Can Carry The Load, Collection Ivo Wessel, Museum Weserburg, Bremen, DE
Places of the Mind. Wim and Donata Wenders, Polka Galerie, Paris, FR
In broad daylight even the sounds shine. WimWenders scouting in Portugal, Reservatório da Mãe d'Água das Amoreiras, Lisbon, PT
Time Capsules. By the side of the Road. Wim Wenders’ recent photographs. Blain|Southern Berlin, DE
Wim Wenders. America, Villa e Collezione Panza, Varese, IT 4 REAL & TRUE 2! Landscapes. Photographs., Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf, DE

2014
Wim Wenders: Urban Solitude, Palazzo Incontro, Rome, IT

2013
Wim Wenders. Appunti di Viaggio. Armenia Giappone Germani. Villa Pignatelli, Naples, IT
Wim Wenders: Photographs, Fundació Sorigué, Leida, ES

2012
Pictures from the Surface of the Earth, Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow, RU; Dirimart, Istanbul, TR
Beyond Memory, The Museum on the Seam, Jerusalem, IL

2010
Places, strange and quiet, Museu de Arte de São Paulo, BR; Haunch of Venison, London, UK; Harald Falckenberg Exhibition Space, Deichtorhallen, Hamburg, DE; Ostlicht. Galerie Für Fotografie, Vienna, AT; GL Strand, Copenhagen, DK

2006
Wim Wenders- Immagini dal Pianeta Terra, Scuderie del Quirinale, Rome, IT Wim Wenders, Museum of Contemporary Art, Belgrade, RS Journey to Onomichi, (with Donata Wenders), Omotesando Hills Gallery, Tokyo, JP; Heiner Bastian, Berlin, DE

2004
Images of Time and Place, Contemporary Views of Landscape, Lehman College Art Gallery, New York, US
Wim Wenders, Galleria Marabini, Bologna, IT

2001
Pictures from the Surface of the Earth, Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin, DE; Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, ES; City Art Gallery, Wellington, NZ; Juerg Judin, Zurich, CH; Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, AU; Haunch of Venison, London, UK; Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou; Shanghai Museum of Art; Millennium Art Museum, Beijing, CN; James Cohan Gallery, New York, US; Aarhus Kunstmuseum, DK

2000
Buena Vista Social Club, Rose Gallery, Bergamot Station, Santa Monica, US

1996
Wim Wenders: Landscape and Memory, Gallery of Contemporary Photography, Santa Monica, US
Wim Wenders: Photos, Goethe Institut, Munich, DE; Goethe Institutes worldwide

1993
Once - Photographs by Wim Wenders, Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome, IT; Schirmer/ Mosel, Munich, DE; Villa delle Rose, Bologna, IT; FNAC, Paris, FR; Parco, Tokyo, JP; FNAC, Berlin, DE; Villa Rufolo, Ravello, IT

1992
Wim Wenders, Musée de L’Elysée, Lausanne, CH
Robert Adams – Wim Wenders, Amerika Haus, Berlin, DE

1989
Wim Wenders Photographs, Galerie F. C Gundlach, Hamburg, DE; Galerie Marie-Louise Wirth, Zurich, CH; Hochschule für Fernsehen und Film, Munich, DE; Fahey/Klein Gallery, Los Angeles, US; Shibuya Seibu Dept. Store, Tokyo; Kiyomizu Temple, Kyoto, JP; Venice Biennale, IT; Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebaek, DK; Sala Parpallo Palau Dels Scala, Valencia, ES; San Telmo Museum, San Sebastian, ES

1986
Written in the West, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, FR; Encontros de Fotografia, Coimbra, PT; Palazzo della Triennale di Milano, Milan, IT; Film Society of Miami, US; Goethe Institut, Stockholm, SE; Goethe Institut, Copenhagen, DK; Saint-Yrieix-La-Perche, FR; Städtische Galerie Schwarzes Kloster, Freiburg (Breisgau), DE

FULL LENGTH FICTIONAL FEATURE FILMS

2017
Submergence

2016
Les beaux jours d'Aranjuez (3D)

2015

Every Thing Will Be Fine (3D)

2011
PINA (3D)

2008
Palermo Shooting

2005
Don’t Come Knocking

2004
Land of Plenty

2003
The Blues Series: The Soul of a Man

2002
Ode to Cologne: A Rock ‘n’ Roll Film

2000
The Million Dollar Hotel

1999
Buena Vista Social Club

1997
The End of Violence

1996
A Trick of the Light

1995
Beyond the Clouds (with Michelangelo Antonioni)

1994
Lisbon Story

1993
Faraway, So Close!

1991
Until the End of the World

1989
Notebook on Cities and Clothes

1987
Wings of Desire

1985
Tokyo-Ga

1984
Paris, Texas

1982
The State of Things Hammett

1980
Nick’s Film: Lightning over Water

1977
The American Friend

1976
Kings of the Road

1975
Wrong Move

1973
Alice in the Cities

1972
The Scarlet Letter

1971
The Goalies's Anxiety at the Penalty Kick

1970
Summer in the City

DOCUMENTARIES AND SHORT FILMS

2018
Pope Francis – A Man of his Word

2014
The Salt of the Earth
Cathedrals of Culture, episode ‘The Berlin Philharmonic’ (a 3D film project)

2012
Notes from a Day in the Life of an Architect (Peter Zumthor at work)

2010
If Buildings Could Talk (3D)

2008
“8” :PERSON TO PERSON

2007
War in PeaceLos Invisibles: Invisible Crimes

2002
Ten Minutes Older: Twelve Miles to Trona

1998
Willie Nelson at the Teatro

1995
Lumière and Company

1992
Arisha, the Bear and the Stone Ring

1989
Notebook on Cities and Clothes

1985
Tokyo-Ga

1982
Reverse Angle Room 666

1980
Lightning Over Water

1974
From the Family of Reptiles/The Island

1969
Alabama (2000 Light Years) 3 American LP’s

1968
Silver City Revisited
‘Police Film’

1967
SchauplätzeSame Player Shoots Again

OPERA

2019
Les pêcheurs de perles, Beijing, CN

2017
Les pêcheurs de perles, Berliner Staatsoper, DE

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS

2017
Wim Wenders: Instant Stories, Thames & Hudson, London, UK

2015
4Real & True2. Wim Wenders. Landscapes. Photographs., Schirmer/Mosel, Munich, DE
Die Pixel des Paul Cézanne. Und andere Blicke auf Künstler, Verlag der Autoren, Frankfurt, DE
Wim Wenders, Written In The West - Revisted. Schirmer/Mosel, Munich, DE
Wim Wenders. America, Silvana Editorale, Milan, IT

2013
L.B. Tauris, Inventing Peace: A Dialogue on Perception, London, UK
Wim Wenders, Places, strange and quiet, 2. edition, Hatje Cantz, Ostfildern, DE
Exhibition Catalogue, Wim Wenders Photographs, Fundació Sorigué, Lleida, ES

2012
Exhibition Catalogue, Pina. The Film and the Dancers, Schirmer/Mosel, Munich, DE

2011
Matt Watkins ed., Places, strange and quiet, Hatje Cantz, Ostfildern, DE

2009
Exhibition Catalogue, Journey to Onomichi, Schirmer/Mosel, Munich, DE

2007
Wim Wenders, Une Fois. images et histoires, G3J, Paris, FR

2005
Sam Shepard and Wim Wenders, Don’t Come Knocking- Companion Book to The Film, Schwartzkopff Buckwerke, Berlin, DE
Daniel Bickermann ed., A Sense of Place, Verlag der Autoren, Frankfurt, DE

2004
Wim Wenders, Wolfgang Niedecken and Eusebius Wirdeier eds., Viel Passiert – Companion Book to The Documentary Film About The German Band Bap, Schirmer/Mosel, Munich, DE

2001
Wim Wenders, Einmal. Bilder Und Geschichten, Schirmer/Mosel, Munich, DE
Exhibition Catalogue, Pictures from the Surface of the Earth, Schirmer/Mosel, Munich, DE
On Film, Faber & Faber, London, UK
Wim Wenders, ONCE. PICTURES AND STORIES, Schirmer/Mosel, Munich, DE

2000
Wim Wenders, Written In The West, teNeues, New York, US
The Heart is a Sleeping Beauty - Companion Book to The Million Dollar Hotel, Schirmer/Mosel, Munich, DE
Buena Vista Social Club, The Companion Book to the Film, teNeues, New York, US
My Time with Antonioni, The Diary of an Extraordinary Experience, Faber & Faber, London, UK

1997
The Act of Seeing, Faber & Faber, London, UK; Faber Inc., US

1996
Wim Wenders: Photos, Goethe Institut, Munich, DE; Edition Braus, Heidelberg, DE

1995
Wim Wenders, My Time with Antonioni- Companion Book to The Film Beyond The Clouds, Edizioni Socrates, Rome, IT; Verlag Autoren, Frankfurt am Main, DE

1994
Lisbon Story - Companion Book to The Film, Verlag der Autoren, Frankfurt am Main, DE
Wim Wenders, Einmal. Bilder Und Geschichten, Verlag der Autoren, Frankfurt am Main, DE
Once, Verlag der Autoren, Frankfurt am Main, DE; L’Arche Editeur, Paris, FR (1994/2008); Parco co., Tokyo, JP; Schirmer/Mosel, Munich, DE (2001/2005/2010)

1993
Wim Wenders, Una Volta, Edizioni Socrates, Rome, IT
Wim Wenders, Far Away, So Close! - Companion Book to The Film, Verlag der Autoren, Frankfurt am Main, DE
Wim Wenders, Einstellungen, Zur Werkausgabe, Publisher of The Authors, Frankfurt am Main, DE
Electronic Paintings, Edizioni Socrates, Rome, IT

1992
The Act of Seeing, Verlag der Autoren, Frankfurt am Main, DE; Ubulibri, Milan, IT
Emotion Pictures, Faber & Faber, London, UK; Faber Inc., US

1991
The Logic of Images, Raevens Sorte Bibliotek, CopenhageN, DK; Bardon Chinese Media Agency, Taiwan, CN
The Logic of Images, Faber & Faber, London, UK; Faber Inc., US

1989
Emotion Pictures, Edicoes 70, Lisbon, PT

1988
Michael Töteberg ed., The Logic of Images, Verlag der Autoren, Frankfurt am Main, DE
Written in the West, Editoriale Jaca Book, Milan, IT

1987
Written in the West, Schirmer/Mosel, Munich, DE
Der Himmel Über Berlin – Companion Book to The Film Wings of Desire, Verlag der Autoren, Frankfurt am Main, DE

1986
Emotion Pictures, Verlag der Autoren, Frankfurt am Main, DE
Wim Wenders, Tokyo-Ga, Galrev – Verlag, Berlin, DE

1985
Wim Wenders, Tokyo-Ga, Verlag der Autoren, Frankfurt am Main, DE
Wim Wenders, Im Lauf Der Zeit - Companion Book to The Film Kings of the Road, Verlag der Autoren, Frankfurt am Main, DE


SELECTED PUBLIC AND CORPORATE COLLECTIONS

Neuberger Berman, London, UK
National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh, UK
Collection of the German Republic, Berlin, DE
O.R.S Art Collection, Tel Aviv, IL
Aarhus Kunstmuseum, DK
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, US
Stiftung Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf, DE