b. Rheinbach, Germany 1963

Frank Breuer attended and studied photography at the University of Applied Sciences in Cologne and at the Düsseldorf Academy of Arts under Bernd Becher, a pioneer of the New topographics movement. Similar to the Bechers, Breuer focuses on isolating industrial structures–cooling towers, detached shipping trailers, electric poles–in barren landscapes utilizing the large format to compress the composition and emphasize the specificity of the objects.

In Warehouses (1995), Logos (1995), and Containers (2002), Breuer works in this very archival tradition to make portraits of the post-industrial, capitalist society – facades of distribution warehouses devoid of human presence, logos of commercial businesses in nondescript places, and compositions of neatly stacked shipping containers that resonate both a sense of displacement and familiarity.

In Poles (2004), Breuer’s typological process is apparent in his portraiture of American electric poles that are once again the subject in indeterminate and almost surreal settings that give charged meanings to the seemingly banal object of an urban landscape.

Breuer successfully isolates and captures the artificiality and object-ness of a non-place to reframe the individual signs which are then charged with a temporality and monumentality, leaving the object almost meaningless and alienated from its original context. Breuer’s work explores these ideas of the new topographies in a continuing globalized world.


1996 Meisterschüler (distinction of master student) under Professor Bernhard Becher
1991-'98 Studied at the Düsseldorf Academy of Arts with Professor Bernhard Becher
1993 Meisterschüler (distinction of master student) under Professor Arno Jansen
1987-'93 Studied photography at the University of Applied Sciences, Cologne, Faculty
Arts and Design with Professor Arno Jansen


2003-'04 Visiting Lecturer on Visual and Environmental Studies, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

Solo Exhibitions

2011 Tunnels, Trailers, etc., ftc fiedler taubert contemporary, Berlin
2008 McNamara Gallery, Wanganui, New Zealand
Logos-Warehouses-Containers-Poles, Richard Levy Gallery, Albuquerque
2007 Frank Breuer Photographs, St. Louis Art Museum, St. Louis
2006 Frank Breuer – Containers & Poles, Gallery Luisotti, Santa Monica
Frank Breuer Photographs, Faulconer Gallery, Grinnell College, Iowa
2005 Goethe Institut, Beijing and Hong Kong
Jousse Entreprise art contemporain, Paris
2004 Containers & Poles, Fiedler Contemporary, Cologne
2003 Containers, Rocket Gallery, London
Warehouses and Logos, The Photographers‘ Gallery, London
2002 Jousse Entreprise art contemporain, Paris
Pionèri con tutti – Beeldende Kunstmanifestatie, Hoofdvaartkerk, Hoofddorp
Klaus Engelhorn 20/22 contemporary art, Vienna
Galerie Ulrich Fiedler, Cologne
2001 Paris Photo, booth
Feigen Contemporary, New York
2000 Hallen, Galerie Ulrich Fiedler, Cologne
RLD – Raiser Lopez Designers, Stuttgart
1999 Fünfzehn Denkmäler: Panzer und Kanonen (Fifteen Monuments: Tanks and Canons), rampe 003, Volksbühne, Berlin

Group Exhibitions

2014 Was war und was ist, Museum Folkwang, Essen, Germany
Industrial Worlds, MAST Gallery, Bologna, Italy
An Artificial Wilderness: The Landscape in Contemporary Photography, Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, CT
2011 Global Photography-Occupancy, SI FEST, Savignano sul Rubicone, Italy
Public Works, Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago
2009 Auto Sueno y Materia, CA2M, Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo Avda, Mostoles, Spain
2006 My Way, Jousse Entreprise art contemporain, Paris
Zeit Raum Bild. 10 Jahre Dokumentarfotografie Förderpreise der Wüstenrot Stiftung, Kulturforum Potsdamer Platz, Berlin
2005 Musée de la Publicité, Paris
Slow Down, Pilar Parra & Romero, Galeria de Arte, Madrid
2004 The Amazing & The Immutable, Tufts University Art Gallery, Medford, MA
Rencontres de la Photographie 2004, Église des Frères Prêcheurs, Arles
Regarde, Il Neige, Centre national d‘art et du paysage, Vassivière en Limousin
2003 Circular, Rocket Gallery, London
Playing with the Scale, Centro Galegode Arte Contemporánea, Santiago de Compostela
Modern Photographs from the Collection of Lila Acheson, Wallace, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Wüstenrot Foundation Promotional Awards for Documentary Photography, 1999/2000, Technische Sammlungen, Dresden,Städtische Galerie Brunsbüttel
2002 Konstruktion/Illusion, co berlin, Berlin
Industrial Photography – Peter Keetman Award 2002, Museum der Arbeit, Hamburg
Wüstenrot Foundation Promotional Awards for Documentary Photography, 1999/2000, Kunstverein Ludwigsburg Galerie im Markgrafenschloss, Emmendingen Museum für Photographie, Braunschweig Museum für Angewandte Kunst, Cologne
Setting the Scene – Architecture in Contemporary Photography, Museum für Neue Kunst / ZKM (Center for Art and Media), Karlsruhe Städtische Galerie Erlangen, Palais Stutterheim Kunsthaus Kaufbeuren
The Big Projects – Dutch architecture policy in perspective, Netherlands Architecture Institute, Rotterdam
TRADE – Wege und Werte im Welthandel heute, nederlands foto instituut, Rotterdam
2001 Wüstenrot Foundation Promotional Awards for Documentary Photography, 1999/2000, Fotografische Sammlung Museum Folkwang, Essen
TRADE – Wege und Werte im Welthandel heute – Routes and Values in World Trade Today, Fotomuseum Winterthur
"Wenn Berlin Biarritz wäre…" (If Berlin were Biarritz…), Museum Folkwang, Essen
Counting Colour, Rocket Gallery, London
interior exterior, Galerie Six Friedrich / Lisa Ungar, Munich
2000 Négotiations, Centre Régional d'Art Contemporain, Sète
Zeitgenössische Positionen der Architekturphotographie (Contemporary Positions in Architectural Photography), Museum Ludwig, Cologne
1999 Neues Sehen/ Neues Bauen (New Seeing, New Building), Galerie Ulrich Fiedler, Cologne
1998 gestern genau jetzt – Arbeiten einer photographischen Schule (yesterday right now works from a photography school), Special show of the SK Stiftung Kultur (cultural foundation), Art Cologne
1997 Werner- Mantz- Prijs 1997, Academie van Bouwkunst, Maastricht
1994 Denk ich an Deutschland… Deutsche Nationaldenkmale 1790-1990, (When I Think -95 of Germany… German National Monuments 1790-1990), Traveling show put on by the NRW Cultural Office
1994 149,2 kbm, Bergisches Freilichtmuseum Lindlar (open-air museum)
1993 Ida Gerhardi Preis 1994, Städtische Galerie Lüdenscheid


“Frank Breuer Poles”, Faulconer Gallery, Grinnell College, Iowa, 2006
“Frank Breuer – Logos Warehouses Containers“, Fiedler Contemporary, Cologne, Jousse Entreprise, Paris, Schaden.com, Cologne, 2005
“Arles Rencontres de la Photographie 2004“, Actes du Sud, Arles, 2004
“Frank Breuer“, Marcus Verhagen in: Art Mothly 8/2003
“Juegos de Escala – Playing with the Scale“ , Centro Galegode Arte Contemporánea, Santiago de Compostela, 2003
“Pionèri con tutti – Beeldende Kunstmanifestatie", Stichting Haarlemmermeer 2002, Hoofddorp (NL) , 2002
Industriefotografie der Jetztzeit (Industrial Photography of the Present), Edition Braus, Heidelberg (D), 2002
In Szene gesetzt (Setting the Scene), Hatje/Cantz, Ostfildern (D), 2002
Wenn Berlin Biarritz wäre… (If Berlin were Biarritz…), Steidl-Verlag, Göttingen (D) 2001 "TRADE – Waren, Wege und Werte im Welthandel heute" (TRADE – Goods, Routes and Values in World Trade Today), Scalo-Publishers, Zurich, Berlin, New York, 2001
global:nrw – Paris Photo, Ministerium für Wirtschaft und Mittelstand, Energie und Verkehr des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen (North Rhine-Westphalian Ministry of Economy and Middle-Class, Energy and Transport), 2001
Promotional Awards for Documentary Photography 1999 / 2000, Wüstenrot Foundation, Ludwigsburg (D), 2001
“De industriele steppe“, Gert Jonkers in: Carp* magazine 06/2001
Kunst der Gegenwart (Art of the Present), Museum für Neue Kunst / ZKM Karlsruhe, Prestel, Munich / New York, 1997


ZKM (Center for Art and Media) Karlsruhe – Museum für neue Kunst
Museum Folkwang – Fotografische Sammlung, Essen
Deutsche Bank, Frankfurt
Heiting Collection, Amsterdam
Estée Lauder company collection, New York
Rheinisches Industriemuseum, Oberhausen
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea, Santiago de Compostela
Martin Z. Margulies Collection, Florida
Gemeentemuseum Helmond
Centre d‘Art Contemporain de Vassivière en Limousin
Grinnell College, Grinnell, Iowa
The Saint Louis Art Museum, Saint Louis
Musée National d'Art Moderne, Paris

Awards and Honors

2002 Traveling scholarship, awarded by the Kunststiftung NRW (Arts Foundation of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia), Düsseldorf
1999 Promotional Award for Documentary Photography, awarded by the Wüstenrot Foundation, Ludwigsburg