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ESSER, Elger

PORTRAIT-ESSERBorn in 1967 in Stuttgart, Germany.

Lives and works in Düsseldorf, Germany.


After spending his childhood in Rome, Elger Esser studied photography with Professor Bernd Becher at the Düsseldorf Arts Academy. Since 1996, he has travelled outside Germany to take colour landscape photographs (printed life-size with thick white borders) in France, Italy, Spain, Holland and Scotland. Most of the places are by lakes or rivers.

Water is omnipresent in the œuvre of Esser, who works with a large-format camera. Usually the horizon is straight and rather low, as in seventeenth-century Dutch landscape paintings. Some are of towns, particularly Italian hill towns. Even some large cities—Paris and Lyon, for instance—feature, always along rivers.

Recent exhibitions have included: Marco Vean’s gallery in Milan, Italy, 2003; Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York, and the Musée Malraux, Le Havre, France, in 2004; and Sonnabend Gallery, New York, in 2005. His work is held by the Guggenheim Collection, the Metropolitan Museum, New York, the Albert Knox Gallery, Buffalo, the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, and the Kunsthaus, Zürich. Recent publications include Cap d’Antifer—Etretat (Schirmer&Mosel, 2004) and Vedutas and Landscapes(Schirmer&Mosel, 2000).


Elger Esser presented his work at the Rencontres d’Arles in 2009 at the Abbaye de Montmajour.