Mat Hennek: Sounds of Spheres



ISBN: 9783969991473 Category:


In the atmospheric photographs of Sounds of Spheres, Mat Hennek creates striking impressions of how we imaginatively engage with nature. Whether depicting the world from a traditional receding perspective-a misty landscape at sunrise, snow-laden branches, palm trees bending in the wind-or from above-the serpentine curves of a river, fossil-like patterns in sand, the churning surface of the ocean-Hennek does not record nature but captures the apparitions it evokes. Through the soft blurring of edges, lyrical color and a focus on pattern, his images move between representation and abstraction, simultaneously capturing and veiling form. The idea of the sphere links subjects that may at first seem unrelated: a rock posed like a face at the top of a mountain, the glowing ball of the setting sun, the round shapes of ice crystals in a miniature frozen universe, and the great globe of the Earth upon which all this unfolds. And yet Hennek’s fascination with spheres is never merely formal: through the “sounds of spheres” he taps into the harmonizing musical resonances of all living things-secret but accessible, if we only listen closely enough.

All living beings produce sounds, just like the planets in the universe: a symphony that we hear only if we become attentive. – Mat Hennek

Additional information

Weight 1200 g
Dimensions 31.1 x 32.6 cm
Publisher name Steidl
Publication date 5 September 2023
Number of pages 80
Format Hardback
Contributors Text by Hélène Grimaud
Dimensions 31.1 x 32.6 cm
Weight 1200 g


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Mat Hennek was born in the Black Forest area of Germany in 1969 and today lives with his partner, the French pianist Hélène Grimaud, in upstate New York and California. While previously based in Berlin, Hennek created influential photographic portraits for the entertainment and music industries, before turning his attention to the natural and built landscape. He has held solo exhibitions throughout Europe, Asia and the USA. His books with Steidl are Woodlands (2017), presented with Grimaud as the multi-media concert Woodlands and Beyond... at Hamburg's Elbphilharmonie, combining his photos with her performance of impressionistic compositions; and Silent Cities (2020), portraits of some of the world's great cities, all curiously lacking people and transformed into monuments of silence.