Petra Wittmar


Petra Wittmar (German, born 1955) studied photography at the University of Essen from 1977 to 1983 under the tutelage of Otto Steinert and Angela Neuke-Widmann. In 1979 she met Michael Schmidt while he was teaching in Essen and subsequently attended the Werkstatt exhibitions in Berlin, including those of Robert Adams and Lewis Baltz. Her early projects focused on the rural and urban environment. The series Spielplätze (1978-1979) is clearly marked by Wittmar’s socio-critical attitude and her pointed way of drawing attention to her theme. In the series Medebach (1979-1983; 2007, exhibition at the Photographische Sammlung/SK Stiftung Kultur, Cologne), a study of her hometown, she adopted a rigorous documentary approach much in the vein oft he American movement New Topographics. Three decades later Wittmar returned to this theme, tackling it in a similar manner, this time in color (Medebach: Fotografien 2009-2011). In the projects Das Versprechen (2013-2014) and Silo (2015-2016) she continued her preoccupation with origins and the idea of home. Her projects have received support on multiple occasions from the Kunststiftung NRW. As an architectural photographer, Wittmar (since 1986 in collaboration with Ulrich Deimel) focuses on modern and contemporary buildings. In 1966 the two of them took part in the Venice Architecture Biennale.