Posts Tagged ‘André Gelpke


Exhibition: ‘Wolfgang Schulz and the Photography Scene around 1980’ at the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg

Exhibition dates: 14th June – 24th November 2019

Featured photographers: Wolfgang Schulz, Hans Christian Adam, Dörte Eißfeldt, Verena von Gagern, André Gelpke, Dagmar Hartig, Andreas Horlitz, Reinhard Matz, Angela Neuke, Heinrich Riebesehl, Wilhelm Schürmann, Holger Stumpf, Petra Wittmar, and Miron Zownir



Wolfgang Schulz (b. 1944) 'Michael' 1980


Wolfgang Schulz (b. 1944)
Silbergelatine | Gelatin silver paper
24 x 30 cm
Privatsammlung | private collection
© Wolfgang Schulz



I love this gritty, inventive, subversive German photography from the late 1970s – early 1980s. Challenge me. Take me bleak places. Tell it like it is, baby…


Many thankx to the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg for allowing me to publish the photographs in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.



Wolfgang Schulz (b. 1944) 'Selbstportrait' | 'Self-Portrait, Riesweiler' 1978


Wolfgang Schulz (b. 1944)
Selbstportrait | Self-Portrait, Riesweiler
Silbergelatine | Gelatin silver paper
24 x 30 cm
Privatsammlung | private collection
© Wolfgang Schulz


Wolfgang Schulz (b. 1944) 'Ohne Titel' | 'Untitled' um | c. 1980


Wolfgang Schulz (b. 1944)
Ohne Titel | Untitled
um | c. 1980
Silbergelatine | Gelatin silver paper
24 x 30 cm
Privatsammlung | private collection
© Wolfgang Schulz



As part of its exhibition series Reconsidering Photography, the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg is undertaking a survey of the German photography scene around the year 1980. The springboard for the examination is the journal Fotografie. Zeitschrift internationaler Fotokunst, published by Wolfgang Schulz (b. 1944) between 1977 and 1985. On the occasion of the exhibition, MKG is inviting photography experts Reinhard Matz (Cologne), Steffen Siegel (Folkwang University Essen), and Bernd Stiegler (University of Konstanz) to relate their research project on the 1980s to the historical photographs in the MKG collection. The aim of the collaboration is to create a historical archaeology of German photography around 1980 based on the example of the journal Fotografie and its protagonists. The exhibition will show some 150 photos by Wolfgang Schulz, Hans Christian Adam, Dörte Eißfeldt, Verena von Gagern, André Gelpke, Dagmar Hartig, Andreas Horlitz, Reinhard Matz, Angela Neuke, Heinrich Riebesehl, Wilhelm Schürmann, Holger Stumpf, Petra Wittmar, and Miron Zownir, together with the journal itself, accompanied by a series of interviews conducted with contemporary witnesses expressly for the exhibition.

Something remarkable happened in the field of photography between 1975 and 1985: important galleries were established and photography increasingly became a coveted item on the art market. Suddenly, collecting and exhibiting photographs in museums was no longer the exception. Photography really stepped into the limelight in style at the so-called Mediendocumenta in 1977. Basic academic reference books were published and a large number of journals were founded. These include both periodicals that since that time have dominated the scholarly discourse, such as History of Photography and Fotogeschichte, as well as magazines designed for the broader public with an interest in photography, including Camera Austria, European Photography, Volksfoto, and Fotokritik.

Among this second group was a journal that was published between 1977 and 1985 with a total of 40 issues, for which its editor, Wolfgang Schulz, who had studied physics and then taught himself photography, chose a name that was as concise as it was ambitious: Fotografie. Zeitschrift internationaler Fotokunst (later Fotografie: Kultur jetzt). Today, this journal seems to have been almost completely forgotten. And yet the achievements of the editor and the contributing authors and photographers surely deserve a closer look. The mix of images and texts they came up with is an important resource for exploring a photography scene that, around 1980, was working hard to establish the medium as an independent art form. At the same time, the 40 issues of Fotografie exude the charm of the open-ended and were shaped by the personal predilections of their editor. An in-depth study of the journal lets us return to the origins of recent photographic history in Germany, which today – surprisingly enough – seem largely to have been buried in the dust of the past.

The exhibition is divided into four sections. It pays tribute to the photographic work of Wolfgang Schulz from the period around 1980, presents works by photographers that for the most part found their way into the MKG collection during that era, displays all 40 issues of the journal Fotografie (unfurling an impressive creative panorama), and lets contemporary witnesses have their say in video interviews as a kind of “oral history.”

Wolfgang Schulz was not merely one of the first journal editors to set himself the task of presenting “a complete overview of contemporary photography with a focus on German photography” but also a notable photographer in his own right. In his photography, as in his editorial work, Schulz tried to evade established norms, while also trying his hand at different styles and subjects. In his Ireland pictures, for example, he followed the narrative tradition of pictorial reportage but simultaneously created a strictly documentary-seeming typology of barns and their various manifestations. With a series of shots of undergrowth, he turned his attention to the unspectacular, and he also portrayed the protagonists on the photography scene who crossed his threshold. For the first time ever, the exhibition is showing his photographic works from the period around 1980.

The images in the MKG collection give an idea of the broad scope covered by art photography in the 1980s. The selection is based on the photo spreads published in Fotografie and thus undoubtedly reveals the preferences of its editor, who seems to have been interested neither in the circle around Bernd and Hilla Becher nor in Michael Schmidt, and who deliberately set out to provoke his readers. Heinrich Riebesehl (1938-2010) explored the North German landscape in his documentary series Agrarlandschaften (Agricultural Landscapes). In a similarly factual style, Wilhelm Schürmann (b. 1946) devoted himself to a highly subjective theme: his childhood surroundings on Steinhammerstrasse in Dortmund. These images are supplemented by his photographs of urban landscapes and residential architecture. Riebesehl and Schürmann both sought their motifs in the realities of life in West Germany that confronted them everywhere they looked. André Gelpke (b. 1947) for his part explored Hamburg’s St. Pauli entertainment district for an independent series he called Sex Theater. He conveys here his view of erotic theatre as a mirror of society that tellingly reveals the audience’s double standards. Wolfgang Schulz also printed Miron Zownir’s pictures of New York’s underground SM, queer, and transsexual scene. These photo spreads reflect the editor’s interest in non-establishment subcultures and in people living on the margins of society.

The photography scene around 1980 was predominantly male: of 147 portfolios published in Fotografie, only 24 presented female photographers. One of the privileged few, Dörte Eißfeldt (b. 1950), combined in her work Große Liebe (True Love, 1980) photographic montage techniques with the serial principle, creating in the darkroom photograms with motifs from her own daily life. Her approach might be dubbed “poetic photography,” the term used by photographer Verena von Gagern (b. 1946) to describe the “representation of private realities.” Von Gagern made pictures in the late 1970s within the “emotional realm” of her own family, among them the image Barbara (1978). Petra Wittmar (b. 1955) pursued by contrast a stricter documentary concept. In her series Spielplätze (Playgrounds, 1979), she takes a critical look at the dreary world of the modern metropolis.

Press release from the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg


André Gelpke (b. 1947) 'Pulverfaß' | 'Powder Keg III' 1978


André Gelpke (b. 1947)
Pulverfaß | Powder Keg III
Silbergelatinepapier | Gelatin silver paper
22 x 32.8 cm
Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg
© André Gelpke


Miron Zownir (b. 1953) 'New York' 1983


Miron Zownir (b. 1953)
New York
Silbergelatinepapier | Gelatin silver paper
23.2 x 15.4 cm
© Miron Zownir


Verena von Gagern (b. 1946) 'Barbara' 1978


Verena von Gagern (b. 1946)
Silbergelatinepapier | Gelatin silver paper
29 x 19.8 cm
Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg
© Verena von Gagern


Reinhard Matz (b. 1952) 'Blutwurst' | 'Blood Sausage' 1981


Reinhard Matz (b. 1952)
Blutwurst | Blood Sausage
Aus der neunteiligen Serie “Wurst” | from the nine-part series “Wurst”
Silbergelatinepapier | Gelatin silver paper
22.5 x 27 cm
© Reinhard Matz, Köln


Hans-Christian Adam (b. 1948) 'Unterwasser-Gruppenportrait' | 'Underwater Group Portrait' 1985


Hans-Christian Adam (b. 1948)
Unterwasser-Gruppenportrait | Underwater Group Portrait (Salzburg College Photo Students)
Vigaun bei | near Hallein, Salzburg, 1985
Silbergelatinepapier | Gelatin silver paper
19.2 x 26.5cm
© Hans Christian Adam


Angela Neuke (1943-1997) 'US President Ronald Reagan visiting Germany for the NATO Ministerial Conference in Bonn on June 9 and 10, 1982'


Angela Neuke (1943-1997)
Deutschlandbesuch von US-Präsident Ronald Reagan in Zusammenhang mit der NATO-Ministerkonferenz am 9. und 10. Juni 1982 in Bonn, 1982 | US President Ronald Reagan visiting Germany for the NATO Ministerial Conference in Bonn on June 9 and 10, 1982
Silbergelatinepapier | Gelatin silver paper
18,6 x 28 cm
LVR Landesmuseum Bonn
© L. Lutz, 2019


Andreas Horlitz (1953-2016) aus der Serie | from the series "Essen, Frühling 1981" 1981


Andreas Horlitz (1953-2016)
Aus der Serie | from the series “Essen, Frühling 1981”
40.3 x 59.4 cm + 13.9 x 59.4 cm
Museum Folkwang, Essen
© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2019


Dagmar Hartig (b. 1952) 'Ohne Titel' | 'Untitled' 1981


Dagmar Hartig (b. 1952)
Ohne Titel | Untitled
Aus der Serie | from the series “Plastic World”
20.3 x 30.2 cm
© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2019


Dörte Eißfeldt (b. 1950) Aus | from "Dunkelrücken" 1986


Dörte Eißfeldt (b. 1950)
Aus | from “Dunkelrücken”
Dia-Installation mit 170 Kleinbilddias und Tonspur | Slide installation with 170 35mm slides and soundtrack
© Dörte Eißfeldt


Holger Stumpf (b. 1953) 'Planetarium, Stadtpark' | 'city park Hamburg' 1979


Holger Stumpf (b. 1953)
Planetarium, Stadtpark | city park Hamburg
Silbergelatinepapier | Gelatin silver paper
16 x 23.5 cm
Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg
© Holger Stumpf


Heinrich Riebesehl (1938-2010) 'Schillerslage (Hannover), Okt. 78' 1978


Heinrich Riebesehl (1938-2010)
Schillerslage (Hannover), Okt. 78
Aus der Serie | from the series “Agrarlandschaften” (Agricultural landscapes)
Silbergelatinepapier | Gelatin silver paper
22.6 x 35.9 cm
Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg
© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2019


Wilhelm Schürmann (b. 1946) 'Kohlscheid' 1978


Wilhelm Schürmann (b. 1946)
Silbergelatinepapier | Gelatin silver paper
21.4 x 28 cm
Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg
© Wilhelm Schürmann, Herzogenrath


Petra Wittmar (b. 1955) Aus der Serie | from the series "Spielplätze" 1979


Petra Wittmar (b. 1955)
Aus der Serie | from the series “Spielplätze” (playgrounds)
Silbergelatinepapier | Gelatin silver paper
17 x 26 cm
© Petra Wittmar



Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg
Steintorplatz, 20099 Hamburg

Opening hours:
Tuesday to Sunday 10 am – 6 pm
Thursday 10 am – 9 pm
Closed Mondays

Museum fur Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg website


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Exhibition: ‘Nude Visions. 150 Years of Nude Photography’ at Museum Fur Kunst und Gewerbe (MKG), Hamburg

Exhibition dates: 29th January – 25th April 2010


Many thankx to the MKG for allowing me to publish the photographs in this post. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.




Jan Mutsu. 'Japanese Man with Tattoo' c. 1955


Jan Mutsu
Japanese Man with Tattoo
c. 1955
Gelatin silver print
20.2 x 25.7 cm
Münchner Stadtmuseum


Gerhard Riebicke (German, 1878-1957) 'Couple Performing German Dance' c. 1930


Gerhard Riebicke (German, 1878-1957)
Couple Performing German Dance
c. 1930
Gelatin silver print
11.6 x 16.2 cm
Bodo Niemann and Münchner Stadtmuseum



Gerhard Riebicke spent his childhood in Switzerland. He studied in Tübingen, worked as a tutor in Poznan, and appropriated the technique of self taught photographer. In 1909 he was a press photographer in Berlin. Gradually, his focus shifted to the sports and nudity culture photography (ball games, jumps, dance or bathing scenes).

As a friend of Adolf Koch, he documented his school for physical education and nude culture. As a chronicler of the reform movement, he also maintained contacts with the Laban School of Hertha Feist and other dance and gymnastics schools Hedwig Hagemann, Berte Trümpi and Mary Wigman. He was represented in Hans Surén’s “The Man and the Sun” in 1924. After 1933 he concentrated on sports photography.

Text translated from the German Wikipedia website


Josef Breitenbach (German-American, 1896-1984) 'Nude' from the series 'This beautiful landscape' 1963


Josef Breitenbach (German-American, 1896-1984)
Nude from the series This beautiful landscape
Gelatin silver print
27.5 x 35.3 cm
Breitenbach Trust USA and Munchner Stadtmuseum


T.W. Salomon (attributed) 'Female Nude in Armchair' c. 1935


T.W. Salomon (attributed)
Female Nude in Armchair
c. 1935
Gelatin silver print
27.5 x 27.4 cm
Münchner Stadtmuseum



An exhibition with more than 250 original photos, books and folders with studies from the nude, including masterpieces from each period.

The representation of the unclothed human body has exuded a great fascination ever since time began. The exhibition Nude Visions invites visitors to embark on a journey through a collection of depictions of the human body spanning 150 years. More than 250 original photos, books and folders with studies from the nude will be on view, including masterpieces from each period: from photographs dating from the 19th century which seek their models in Classical Antiquity and the Renaissance, up to Surrealistic experiments and fashion and lifestyle photography. The exhibition illustrates changing ideals of beauty and moral perceptions, and reveals once again the constant attempt to balance between educational openness, titillation and curiosity.

“Without any doubt, there is nothing which draws the attention of the observer to it so much as the naked human body.” This comment of the journalist and photographer Kurt Freytag in1909 is as true today as it was then. The exhibition turns this fact to its advantage and deals with the historical, aesthetic and ideological development of images of the human body in photography. The show is divided into seven chapters devoted to the meaning and function of the unclothed human body in photography, and tracing the history of the medium: “Academies and Exotic Pictures in the 19th century,” “Art photography around 1900 (Pictorialism),” “Avant-gardes of the 20s and 30s,” “Artistic positions after 1945,” “Naturism,” “The Male Nude” and “Glamourous Nudes.” The first coloured Daguerreotypes of curvaceous ladies with blushing cheeks dating from 1855 meet the unflatteringly in-your-face and voyeuristic self-portrait of the photographer Frank Stürmer from 2004. These two photos mark the two ends of the spectrum covered by the exhibition, which illustrates the evolution of nude photography over sixteen decades by the example of more than 250 eminent works.

Nude photography is always, too, a process of negotiation between revealing and concealing. This exhibition makes clear the ambivalence of what is visible and what is unseen, of shame and curiosity, of legitimation and provocativeness. How nakedness is treated is closely bound up with the specific social context in which it occurs, the ideas of morality and the aesthetic ideal of an era. The motif of the nude is always influenced here both by the historical artistic tradition and reactions to contemporary impulses, which are interpreted by the photographer. Thus the movement for women’s emancipation, for instance, led to new ways of looking at both the female and the male body, as seen for example in the work of Herlinde Koelbl. Images which were still regarded as being scandalous at the beginning of the 20th century, triggering moral misgivings and controversy about a subject perceived as being delicate, would hardly bring a blush to the face of anyone living today. It is not only the motifs which have moved on, but also the reproducibility of the images and the extent of their media coverage impact on the awareness and significance of nakedness in society.

The origins of the history of nude photography lie in the so-called “academies,” which provided painters, graphic artists and sculptors with study objects in the 19th century and which followed the historical artistic models of Classical Antiquity and the Renaissance. Nude photography soon increasingly became emancipated from being a mere model for painting and sculpture, and developed artistic ambitions of its own: photographers discovered in the art of the fin de siècle, with its debt to Symbolism, the nude as a reflection of emotional states and yearnings. In the outgoing 19th century, with its bias towards the exact sciences, the human body served as an object for the study of movement, such as in the celebrated series shots by Eadweard Muybridge showing the sequence of motions in human movement.

Whereas historically staged scenes and compositions are still created in the sheltered environment of the atelier at the beginnings of photography, we find the first open-air nudes after 1870. Wilhelm von Gloeden, Guglielmo Plüschow and others took advantage of the light in the Mediterranean South to stage their visions of an earthly Arcadia. As a feature of the Lebensreform back-to-nature movement which gained ground from the turn of the century onwards, especially in Germany, nude photography became a torchbearer of the Naturist movement. The ornamentally arranged groupings of naked dancers which Gerhard Riebicke for example photographs, mainly in the German countryside, became a symbol for the liberation from the moral constraints of civilization and industrialization. The aesthetic of athletic bodies engaged in sporting activities or dancers in motion was taken up in the heroic physical ideal of the National Socialists and can later still be found in the cult of bodybuilding.

A new, more radical vision was developed by the Avant-garde movements after the 1920s, with their abstract and surrealistic experiments, such as the stories narrated in a play of light and shadow by František Drtikol or the deformed bodies in the works of Hans List. The theme of “glamour” plays a crucial role above all in fashion photography. That chapter poses the question as to what role is played in the debate on fashion by the way of showing the unclothed female body, by male desire and how perceptions change in the course of cultural history. Glamour can be seen in the erotic images from the Atelier Manassé, shown in soft focus, in Bert Stern’s portraits from the “last sitting” of Marilyn Monroe, up to and including Helmut Newton’s photos. In addition to these, selected works by amateurs as well as the male nude as an expression of gay emancipation will also be presented in pictures, particularly by Will McBride or Herbert Roettgen, who placed the representation of the naked male body in the focus of their work as an expression of their homosexuality, an emblem of their coming-out.

The depiction of the naked torso is shrouded in an aura of scandal and has always been a political bone of contention, whereby images of the bare human body send signals which differ according to their historical context: the photographic artists of the 1970s, working within the framework of body art and performance events, declared the directness of their own physical experience to be a political necessity. In retrospect, their work can be seen as a last desperate attempt to grapple with the vanishing concept of the subjective personality before the transition to the post-modern age. The private spaces of life too are meanwhile also illuminated in a quite different way than 25 years ago. The photographer Thomas Ruff deals in his works, which he imbues with a diffuse haziness by digital means, with the theme of the exhibitionism which can go as far as pornographic exposure of one’s own and others’ nakedness in internet forums. Nude Visions shows that the representation of the naked human body always also has something to do with the quest for insight into what human beings (and one’s own self) really are and what role they play in society.”

Press release from the MKG website [Online] Cited 15/04/2010 no longer available online


Herbert List (German, 1903-1975) 'Arab Boy with Desert Candles' 1935


Herbert List (German, 1903-1975)
Arab Boy with Desert Candles
Gelatin silver print
29.7 x 22.5 cm
Herbert List-inheritance, Hamburg and Munchner Stadtmuseum


André Gelpke (German, b. 1947) 'Angelique, Salambo, St.Pauli/Hamburg' 1976


André Gelpke (German, b. 1947)
Angelique, Salambo, St.Pauli/Hamburg
Gelatin silver print
32.6 x 22 cm
André Gelpke and Münchner Stadtmuseum


Norbert Przybilla (1953-1996) 'Franz' 1986


Norbert Przybilla (1953-1996)
Gelatin silver print
50 x 50 cm
Munchner Stadtmuseum


Bert Stern (American, 1929-2013) 'Marilyn Monroe' from the series 'The Last Sitting' 1962


Bert Stern (American, 1929-2013)
Marilyn Monroe from the series The Last Sitting
48 x 48.1cm
Bert Stern



Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg
Steintorplatz | 20099 Hamburg

Opening hours:
Tuesdays to Sundays 10 am – 6 pm
Wednesdays and Thursdays 10 am – 9 pm
Closed on Mondays

Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg website


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Dr Marcus Bunyan

Dr Marcus Bunyan is an Australian artist and writer. His art work explores the boundaries of identity and place. He writes Art Blart, a photographic archive and form of cultural memory, which posts mainly photography exhibitions from around the world. He holds a Dr of Philosophy from RMIT University, Melbourne, a Master of Arts (Fine Art Photography) from RMIT University, and a Master of Art Curatorship from the University of Melbourne.

Marcus Bunyan black and white archive: ‘Sleep/Wound’ 1995-96


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