German-born Markus Brunetti’s portraits of European churches and cathedrals are the culmination of a decade-long photographic pilgrimage.
The artist has been travelling around the continent in a truck since 2005, capturing the continent’s sacred spaces for his Facades series – on show at New York’s Yossi Milo Gallery from 10 September.
Brunetti photographed each of these religious institutions hundreds – if not thousands – of times over the course of days, months and even years. He then digitally reconstructed its image, piecing it together using fragments from those countless frames.
‘The builders and architects that built the churches had to be patient; most of them never saw the finished result of their endeavours as it took many decades or hundreds of years to finish the buildings,’ Brunetti told Slate magazine. ‘I try to work on Facades with the same spirit and patience they must have had when starting to work on the real buildings.’
Subjects in the 42-strong series include Ulm Minster church in Germany, as well as the Cathédrale Notre-Dame in France’s Chartres – a UNESCO World Heritage Site, completed in the mid-13th century. Each image shows the facade from straight-on, without human presence, so that nothing detracts from its architectural style. This varies from the Romanesque Santa Maria di Collemaggio in Italy’s L’Aquila to Britain’s Gothic Salisbury Cathedral.
Brunetti’s quest for sacred architecture is now moving on to Eastern Europe. ‘The journey continues and we will be pleased to share our own cultural fascination with the views of every finished facade,’ he told Slate.