Jens Nagels - Pictures, Art, Photography

Jens Nagels

Background Information about Jens Nagels


The unfocused in art has a long history dating back to the Renaissance and inseparable from the witnessing of natural phenomena. Environment, darkness and fog take us into the diffuse and secretive. In traditional photography textbooks, focus was deemed most valuable and, until the emergence of automatic cameras, made taking photographs visibly difficult for amateurs. Thus, the production of out of focus photographs did not begin it’s triumphal procession as an art form until the last 20 years of the 20th century, with the exception of a brief stint in post-impressionist 1900. One may ask if the differentiation between focus and unfocused qualifies as a stylistic criteria. Let’s say that the variety of the artist who experiments with unfocused photography, is similarly comparable to that of the photographer who is committed to focused pictures.

Jens Nagels develops a very special acquaintance with the stylistic device of “unfocusing.” His career as a photographer was preceded by his painting studies in Düsseldorf. It is unmistakable that his photography, which as a rule does not reproduce nature but rather second hand reality through foreign color intensified visions, perpetuate his beginnings as a painter. As a gourmet sorts out his delicacies from what gushes out of of the television in his apartment: “ I am not a hunter, but rather a collector,” Nagels says. His two part work conveys the impression of the romantic and closure, the grains themselves lost in a logical color gradient, apparently striving to flow into each other in the assigned pictures, and simultaneously becoming quelled through the sharp edges of the picture border. The photographs live for a disoriented balance: limitation vs. liberation, traditional photographic images vs. pictorial photography, images vs. a denial of information. And that convesys itself to the viewer whose viewpoint ideally swings between the desire for concrete identification and the desire for free interpretation.

Dr. Boris von Brauchitsch


1970-1975Completed painting studies in Düsseldorf under Professors Andre Thomkins and Alfonso Hüppi.
1981-1986Completed studies in visual communications at the University of Kassel
1990-1995Photography university teaching position
Lives and Works in Kassel


Dr. Wolfgang Zippel-Stiftung
Documenta Archiv


1997Süddeutsche Zeitung (56)
1995Photog (263), The world´s leading Chinese Photographic Magazine
1993APEX No. 18
1991Museum für Photographie, Kulturlandschaften (Cultural Landscapes)
1988Graphis (232), Abschlussarbeiten (Thesis Project)


2004"Contemplation", Kunsttempel Kassel
2003Galerie Palladion, Basel, Switzerland
1997DOK4, Kunsthaus der Stadt Kassel
1995Krefeld, Photo Gallery in Fabrik Heeder
1994Fridericianum, Kasseler Kunstverein, Kassel
Kleve, Photo Gallery in Schwanenburg
1993Galerie eye-genart, Cologne
1992Photogalerie International, Hannover
Galerie Brennpunkt, Berlin
Museo de Arte Moderno, Buenos Aires
1991Palais Bellevue, Kulturamt, Kassel
1989Bildzone, Munich
Raum F, Zurich
1985G.A.L. Art, Bogotá
2009 Gemeinsam in Bewegung, Zeitgenössische Kunst aus Deutschland und China, Wuhan, China
Gemeinsam in Bewegung, Zeitgenössische Kunst aus Deutschland und China, Technische Universität Budapest, Hungary
Tatort, ein Vergnügen, Kunsttempel Kassel, Germany
2008 TÜV Rheinland Japan, Yokohama, Japan
2007out of focus, Galerie f:7.2, Mönchengladbach und Kunst- und Galeriehaus, Bochum-Wattenscheid, Germany
2006Kennen Sie jemanden hier?, Kulturbahnhof Kassel Südflügel, Germany
2004"Contemplation" , Kunsttempel Kassel
2003Galerie Palladion, Basel, Switzerland
1997DOK4, Kunsthaus der Stadt Kassel
1995Krefeld, Photo Gallery in Fabrik Heeder
1994Kassel, Kasseler Kunstverein, Fridericianum Kleve, Foto Gallery in der Schwanenburg
1993Cologne, Galerie eye-genart
1992Hannover, Photogalerie International Hannover Berlin, Galerie Brennpunkt Buenos Aires, Museo de Arte Moderno
1991Kassel, Palais Bellevue, Kulturamt
1989Munich, Bildzone Zurich, Raum F
1985Bogotá, G.A.L. Art
2002"in between", Kunsthaus Langenthal, Switzerland

"4 Fotografen - 4 Positionen" (4 Photographs – 4 Positions) Galerie Weigand, EttlingenDie Kunst des Autos (The Art of Cars) Kunsthalle Osnabrück10 Jahre - Dr. Wolfgang Zippel-Stiftung, (10 Years-Dr. Wolfgang Zippel Prize) Staatliche Museen Kassel - Neue Galerie

1999"Portrait & Selbstportrait" (Portrait & Self Portrait), Kunstverein Plön"...imagine", Galerie Weigand, Ettlingen
1998Kassel, ICE Bahnhof "In the summertime", Galerie Weigand, Ettlingen/Karlsruhe
1997"Einblicke" (Insights), Kassel, Kasseler Kunstverein
1994Kleve, Fotogalerie in der Schwanenburg
1992La Otra Cara, Galeria Suipacha, Buenos Aires
1991Museum für Photografie, Braunschweig
1987Gießhaus , Kassel
1986Ministerium für Wissenschaft und Kunst (Ministry for Science and Art), Wiesbaden
1984Kunstverein, Frankfurt/Main