Martina Gruber (b. 1968)
Drawing inspiration from the intricacies of everyday life and the interplay of light and space, Martina Gruber is a photographer who delves deep into the essence of perception and reality. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for exploring socio- and landscapes, her work serves as a visual exploration of personal introspection and societal narratives.
In the tradition of Joan Didon when it comes to writing, Gruber describes: ‘I take photographs exclusively to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I’m seeing and what that means.’
Gruber’s photographs transcend mere representation, aiming to challenge viewers’ preconceptions and prejudices through layered compositions and abstract interpretations of reality. Their artistic approach, influenced by the minimalist ethos of Ernst Haas, prioritizes simplicity in equipment to allow for a profound focus on subject and composition.
Collaborations with Zimbabwean painter Gillian Rosselli have enriched Gruber’s practice, fostering interdisciplinary dialogues that transcend traditional boundaries.
Through her photographs, Gruber invites viewers on a journey of introspection and discovery, where the boundaries between reality and perception blur, and the essence of light becomes a central motif.
In 2016 Martina won 1st Prize for her submission ‘Manmade meets Natural’ at the Water and Me – Future Water photographic competition and exhibition at University of Cape Town. Martina’s recent exhibitions include A Day at Sea, a two-woman show at the Irma Stern Gallery in Cape Town (South Africa: 2017), Walks of Life at Luni Gallery in Cape Town (South Africa: 2017), BalanceForBetter : Redesigning A Woman’s Space at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe in Harare (Zimbabwe: 2019), Augenblicke : Instants a solo exhibition at Artillery Tribal and Contemporary Art in Harare (Zimbabwe: 2019) and The End of a Season – a solo exhibition at 15YORK in Harare (Zimbabwe: 2021). In 2019 Martina was awarded 1st Prize in the photography category for the International Labor Organization (ILO) ‘s call Fast Forward – The Future of Work in a Green Economy.
As a founding member of the artist collective M I L K, Gruber was participating in the ‘Current Affairs | Conversations about the body 2.0’ exhibition at Nel Gallery in Cape Town, South Africa in July 2022.
In February 2024 Gruber has been showcasing photographic work with artHARARE at the 2024 edition of the Investec Cape Town Art Fair under the theme ‘Mushika-shika’.
Gruber lives and works between Zimbabwe, South Africa and Austria.