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By the late 1970s, Andreas Züst had begun to photograph the atmosphere’s optical and meteorological phenomena, capturing lightening, twilight, the foehn effect, halos, iridescent clouds, nighttime seas of fog, misty arcs, sundogs, northern lights, purple light, sun columns, sun and shadow rays, weather fronts, the “Brocken Spectre,” and zodiacal light. In the mid-1990s, Züst met the writer Peter Weber and the two men began a fruitful collaboration. This relationship later found its expression in a multimedia exhibition entitled “Himmel” (Heaven), a work that included the most important of Züst’s celestial photographs. While the exact selection and sequencing of these eighty-one images was later continuously revised, this initial group of photographs nevertheless presents the essence of Züst’s engagement with the sky and with celestial phenomenon.

A publication of this work, including over 150 images, also compiles complementary texts composed by a diverse group of authors on the subjects of relevant heavenly phenomena. Michel Mettler explores weather conditions and imagines heavenly phenomena that beg for interpretation and invite self-reflection; Peter Weber chronicles Züst’s impulse to engage with others and share his ideas; and Bernd Stiegler writes about imagery and visualization in the natural sciences. An inspired and richly illustrated conclusion describes Mara Züst’s and Stefanie Sourlier’s own forays into Andreas Züst’s extensive library, in which so many volumes refer to the heavens, whether in a scientific, religious, literary, artistic, or casual context.