Sacred buildings represent the culture of the time in which they were built, which is what fascinates me about the façades of European churches. The most ambitious were designed by architects who would never live to see the finished building as they took hundreds of years to build. The ornaments, sculptures, and stones were made by the best craftsmen of the day with the aim of creating something for future generations to look up to.
Beginning in 2005, Markus Brunetti traveled with his companion Betty Schöner throughout Europe photographing in minute detail the facades of the world’s great cathedrals in towns like Paris, Cologne, Amiens, Rheims, Chartres, Wells, Milan, and Dresden.
In a typological manner similar to that of Bernd and Hilla Becher’s photographs of German industrial buildings, Brunetti records the cathedrals straight on and with minimal signs of their immediate surroundings. Shot in sections, and composed of thousands of individual frames, Brunetti’s photographs take years to complete and capture the most miniscule details in places rarely seen by the human eye. The individual frames are then assembled into hyper-realistic renderings of the entire facade that feel much like the idealized designs of architectural drawings.
Solo exhibitions of Brunetti’s FACADES series have been held at the Chazen Museum of Art, Madison, Wisconsin; Musée des Beaux Arts, Le Locle, Switzerland; and Museum für Angewandte Kunst, Köln, Germany.
His work is included in the public collections of the Chazen Museum of Art, Madison, Wisconsin; David Winton Bell Gallery, Brown University; Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College; Musée des Beaux-Arts, Le Locle, Switzerland; and the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa.