Water That Dreams, an exhibition of photographs by Czech born, German based artist Jitka Hanzlová, will be on view at Yancey Richardson in Chelsea from April 13 to May 26. Selected from Hanzlová’s extended project Water 2013-2019, the 46 intimate color photographs will be presented for the first time in the U.S.

Known for her poetic approach to landscape, portraiture and still life, in her series Water 2013 - 2019, Hanzlová has turned her attention towards the essential and the elemental, exploring water in all its different states of being: liquid, gaseous, solid. The exhibition features selections from six chapters of Water: Ur, Ice, Clouds, Human Dark, Human Light, and Silent Blue.

Water That Dreams simultaneously conveys the beauty of the sea, its fragility, its vulnerability, and draws the viewer’s attention to the fragility of a complex system often taken for granted. Hanzlová exposes the effects of human intrusion: pieces of trash in the blue of the Indian Ocean; icebergs in the seas of Iceland; a turtle, dead in paradise; a stingray in a cloudy sea. A quiet unease emerges amidst the sumptuous appeal of the natural world. What is revealed in the images is endangered. Her visual language conveys both an appreciation of nature, and a warning of what is endangered - a world in flux.

“We originate from water; we consist to a large extent of water. Without water any life would be unthinkable. In its liquid state, water is without its own shape and form. In the gaseous and solid state, it creates its own unique shapes and forms. Its paths are its own paths – as if it would know where to go…Since the scientification of the world, the elements have gradually lost their claim to wholeness. Thinking, ethics, industrial needs, all of modern life just seem to function independently of the elements. Water, however, is a universal element.

“Water might be considered Hanzlová’s most transgressive work to date, self-referential and personal, where the artist manifests herself as a poetess of images and a marine lover,” writes art historian and curator Adam Budak in an essay from Hanzlová’s 2020 exhibition at the National Gallery of Prague. “Each image in Hanzlová’s photographic oeuvre witnesses an initiation of sorts; it is a portrait of innocence, a breath of life.”

Jitka Hanzlová was born in 1958 in Czechoslovakia and left her native country in 1982 for Germany where she studied photography at the visual communication department of the University of Essen. In 1993 she was awarded the Dr. Otto-Steinert-Preis by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Photographie, in 1995 she received the DG BANK Frankfurt scholarship, in 2003 the Grand Prix Arles, and in 2007 the Paris Photo Prize for Contemporary Photography. She was twice a nominee for The Citibank Photography Prize in London. Hanzlová has exhibited worldwide with noteworthy solo exhibitions including the National Gallery of Prague, Kunstverein in Frankfurt, Deichtorhallen in Hamburg, Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, Fotomuseum Winterthur, Museum Folkwang in Essen, Fundación MAPFRE in Madrid, and National Gallery in Edinburgh. She continues to live and work in Essen, Germany.