Along the Way: The Useful Landscape

Max Regenberg


Max Regenberg has been conducting a long-term photographic study of billboards in public spaces since the late 1970s. After finishing his training as an advertising photographer in Germany in 1977, he immigrated to Canada to work for three years. While in Canada, he was influenced by the emerging New Topographics movement, an approach to photographing altered landscapes. During this time, Regenberg was inspired to undertake his billboard series, as North America was already the Eldorado of oversized billboards by the mid-1970s. In his oeuvre, advertising myths meet the urban landscape of western European and North American cities, resulting in a unique tension between two visual systems; the re-photographed billboard images enter into a new context and thus draw attention to the fact that public space and everyday life are continually economized through the aesthetic impact of the visual and verbal codes of advertising. Regenberg does not follow a strict set of rules; rather, he reacts individually to each situation.

Regenberg’s work has been widely exhibited in museums and institutions throughout Germany since 2000. A retrospective of his work is currently on view at Städtische Galerie Wolfsburg, Germany.