michel szulc krzyzanowski

 conceptual photography


(updated until March 2023)

Michel Szulc-Krzyzanowski was born in Oosterhout, a small town in the South of the Netherlands in 1949 with a Polish father and a Dutch/Belgium mother. First he studied during one year photography at the Academie St. Joost in Breda, the Netherlands. In 1970, after 18 months, he graduated in photography and free graphic art at the Koninklijke Akademie voor Kunst en Vormgeving in ’s-Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands. After the graduation he started working as an autonomous, conceptual photographer.

The photography of Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski can be divided in two sections. On the one hand he makes autonomous-conceptual photography on deserted beaches in Mexico. This work is exhibited in museums and galleries and purchased for art-collections. On the other hand he makes worldwide autonomous-conceptual documentary photography that is published in books, magazines and newspapers but also presented as exhibitions.

In 1971 he exhibited for the first time his photo sequences, in the Noord-Brabants Museum in ’s-Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands. In 1972 he had his first exhibition abroad with his photo sequences in the Camden Arts Centre in London, UK. As of then, his sequences have been widely exhibited and purchased by major museums and art-collections worldwide. Three photo-books have been published of his sequences. In order to avoid epigonism he stopped making sequences in 1985 but in 1995 he started to work again on his former sequences-location in Mexico. A new body of work was created called the VISTA-series: monumental color images. A photo-book of this work was published called “VISTA”. “VISTA”-pictures are widely exhibited as well and are purchased by important art-collections. From the year 2000 Michel Szulc-Krzyzanowski made art-videos on the former sequence and VISTA locations in Mexico but in 2006 returned to making single images again. Resulting in the photo-book "The PS-series". Around 2010 he started to make sequences liberated of mounting the images in one horizontal row. They became more like collages resulting in unique 3-dimensional sequences made as of 2020: an ongoing process. The Pacific beaches of Baja California, Mexico have been used now as a theatre for his autonomous-conceptual work for over 40 years.

His autonomous-conceptual photography: sequences, VISTA-pictures and the PS-series have been exhibited a.o. in the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, the Centre Beaubourg in Paris, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Ludwig Museum in Cologne and in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Arts, who all also acquired his work for their art-collections. Four photo-books have been published with his conceptual images.

In the year 2000 Michel Szulc-Krzyzanowski moved from Amsterdam, the Netherlands, to live and work in Cadaques, Spain where he made autonomous-conceptual work in the Parc Natural Cabo de Creus: the Punta Prima-series. In 2005 he left Cadaques to live and work as a full-time nomad in order to be the most optimal creative.

His autonomous documentary photography has a conceptual foundation as well. He works exclusively on the basis of his own ideas, such as the photo-project ‘Henny’. An arbitrary chosen Dutch woman who has been followed photographically in her daily life since her 16th year for over 42 years. These pictures have been published so far in seven photo-books. Many of his photo projects were related to the Third World, such as ‘Gewoon Afrika’(Ordinary Africa): the life of four inhabitants in a small village in Zimbabwe during three months. Other photo-projects were“World of love” (about how people worldwide love each-other within a family), “World of Energy” (20 different ways of producing and consuming energy worldwide), “World of little heroes” (two 9-year old physically challenged girls: Hasina in Bangladesh and Samantha in Canada compared in pictures), “The most beautiful people in the world” (People responding to announcements in newspapers when asked if they believe they

 happen to be the most beautiful in the world) and "What the world has never seen" (People worldwide who show what nobody has ever seen before). So far 13 photo-books have been published with his autonomous-documentary photography. There have been countless magazine- and newspaper publications as well as exhibitions.

At the age of 74, in 2023, and still in excellent health, Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski publishes daily his autonomous-conceptual photography on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, has exhibitions and publications and makes more 3-dimensional sequences.