A gigantic iceberg, glowing lava, barren desert landscapes, magnificent vegetation, paradise-like animal worlds and the last two living Northern White Rhinos—Paolo Pellegrin’s (b. 1964) photographs take us on a visually powerful journey around the world: From Iceland to Costa Rica, from Greenland to Namibia, from Italy to Japan, and from Germany to Australia he traces the effects of the human-caused climate catastrophe and the state of nature. The roots of this project lie in a research trip to Antarctica that Pellegrin undertook in 2017 together with a group from NASA to document the dramatic consequences of global warming.
The winner of ten World Press Photo Awards, various Photographer of the Year Awards, the Robert Capa Gold Medal Award, and many other honors, Paolo Pellegrin is one of the most famous documentary and war photographers of our time. His photographs are captivating not only for their documentary value, but also for their aesthetic power. They are more than pure reportage photography, for he has long since abandoned image sharpness in favor of a broad spectrum of light and shadow. Thus, his most recent nature photographs, which are based on the four elements, are also motivated by a personal quest: “Yes, of course it’s about landscapes and nature, but I have to transform them. […] I’m looking for the sublime.” Whether in color or in black and white, Paolo Pellegrin exposes the textures and patterns, the surfaces, the enormous power, as well as the vulnerability of our planet. His Fragile Wonders not only tell the story of climate crisis, but open space for new viewing experiences of nature beyond catastrophes.
In a comprehensive exhibition, the Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg will present for the first time in Germany Pellegrin’s impressively direct, but also poetic and at times surreal photographs and projections. The works of the multiple award-winning Italian photographer resemble a global survey of nature.