Robby Müller’s unseen polaroids

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Over 100 unseen photographs by the Dutch cinematographer who collaborated with Wim Wenders for over 25 years will be revealed at Arles

Often referred to as a “master of light”, cinematographer Robby Müller (1940-2018) is known for shaping the visions of celebrated filmmakers including Wim Wenders and Jim Jarmusch. Next month, a lesser-known product of Müller’s artistic output will be  revealed: a collection of over 100 polaroid images. The unseen images, made between the early 70s and late 90s, will be exhibited throughout  July to coincide with the 50th edition of Les Rencontres d’Arles.

Robby Müller: Like Sunlight Coming Through The Clouds illustrates Müller’s career as a cinematographer, as well as his life in-between filming. Originally kept as a visual diary to chronicle his everyday, the polaroids offer an insight into his way of seeing, through a medium that is separate yet synonymous with the method he is known for.

Müller was born on the Dutch Carribean island of Curaçao in 1940, but was raised in Indonesia until the age of 13, when he and his family relocated to Amsterdam. After studying at the Netherlands Film Academy, in 1969 Müller collaborated with Wim Wenders on the 1969 short Alabama (2000 Light Years), which led to Müller shooting the director’s first feature film, Summer in the City (1970)Müller and Wenders collaborated for 25 years, producing films including Alice in the Cities and Kings of the Road. Müller contributed to the success of a whole generation of independent film auteurs who emerged from the 1970s onwards, and is one of the few camera artists who have successfully juggled careers in art films, the Hollywood mainstream, and personal films of indie directors.

On 03 July 2018, Müller died aged 78, after suffering from vascular dementia for several years. The exhibition at Arles is curated by his wife, Andrea Müller-Schirmer, art historian and image editor for the Dutch art magazine Kunstschrift.

Robby Müller: Like Sunlight Coming Through The Clouds will be on show at the Place de la République 12, Arles, France from 01 July until 28 July 2019

Marigold Warner

Deputy Editor

Marigold Warner joined the British Journal Photography in April 2018, and currently holds the position of Deputy Editor. She studied English Literature and History of Art at the University of Leeds, followed by an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London. Her work has been published by titles including the Telegraph Magazine, Huck, Elephant, Gal-dem, The Face, Disegno, and the Architects Journal.