Ulrich Wüst is considered to be one of the most important photographers of the German Democratic Republic. Trained as an urban planner at the University College of Architecture and Civil Engineering in Weimar, Germany, Wüst took up photography in the 1970s as a rhetorical tool for studying the development of cities. Throughout the 1980s, his work evolved into an examination of life in the Socialist State. Through his photographs, Wüst critiques the East German approach to city building while exploring the non-conformity of private life and the concept of artistic freedom in a collective society. Wüst also photographs objects from the home – the intimate architecture of everyday life – creating their historical portraits before they are disposed of and forgotten. Largely unknown in the West before the fall of the Berlin Wall, Wüst’s photographs have come to be regarded as some of the most influential aesthetic commentaries on the Socialist State and the evolution of the German nation post-reunification.
Ulrich Wüst has lived and worked in Berlin since 1972, where he continues to photograph the evolution of German cities and their historic memory. Wüst’s first solo exhibition in the U.S., Public and Private: East Germany in Photographs by Ulrich Wüst, debuted at the MIT Museum in Cambridge, MA in 2015 and travelled to the Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk, VA in 2016. Wüst’s work has been collected by the Berlinische Galerie, the Deutsche Genossenschaftsbank, the Art Collection of the German Bundestag, the Berlin State Museums, and the Museum of Prints and Drawings Berlin, and has been featured in solo exhibitions throughout Europe.