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"German Photography: From the Bauhaus to the Bechers"
2003-01-09 until 2003-03-01
Laurence Miller Gallery
New York, NY,
USA United States of America
"German Photography, from
the Bauhaus to the Bechers," is a survey of more than
60 works explores the major trends and pictorial styles in Germany over a 50
year span, from "New Vision" and "New Objectivity" in the 1920's and 1930's,
to their synthesis in "Subjektive Fotografie" in the 1950's, to the Bechers'
unique blend of both in the 1960's and 1970's. This rich tradition
influenced photographic art across Europe and abroad, and its points of
reference are evident in the work of many of today's most celebrated artist
photographers, including Andreas Gursky, Thomas Struth, Thomas Ruff, and
German photography in the 1920's and 1930's evolved through two highly
articulated but divergent approaches: the school of objectivity, and the
school of experimental possibilities. The objective approach will be
represented by the landscapes of Albert Renger-Patzsch and Werner Mantz;
rare vintage plant studies by Karl Blossfeldt; stoic portraits by August
Sander; and from Alfred Eisenstaedt, Marlene Dietrich in tuxedo, 1928. The
experimental Bauhaus aesthetic will be highlighted by bird's eye views and
photograms by Laszlo Moholy-Nagy; oblique and disorienting portraits by T.
Lux Feininger; and a surreal Bauhaus theater production designed by Oscar
Schlemmer and recorded by Irene Bayer. After World War II, "Subjektive
Fotografie" grew out of the photographers' group FOTOFORM, and combined a
scientific objectivity with abstraction. Viewiers will see the stylistic
shift during this period in a surreal image of reflecting drops by Peter
Keetman, a time exposure of a moving carousel at night by Toni Schneiders,
and a negative print multiple exposure by Ludwig Windstosser. From the
Bechers, who combined the objective seeing of the 1920's with interpretive
presentation of the 1950's, the exhibition concludes with an early typology
of "Preparation Plants" from 1966-76, two Ohio Steel Mills, as well as a
grid of German house facades from 1989.
The Gallery hopes this show will shed light on the marvelous tradition of photography
from Germany throughout the 20th Century, a tradition highlighted by the
recent exhibition of Andrea Gursky at MOMA, the currently running exhibition
at the Philadelphia Museum of Art "Taken By Design-Photographs from the
Institute of Design, 1937-1971," and the forthcoming exhibition of Thomas
Struth to open at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in February, 2003.