Posts Tagged ‘Beate Gütschow


Exhibition: ‘Lost Places. Sites of Photography’ at the Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg

Exhibition dates: 8th June – 23rd September 2012


Tobias Zielony. 'Dirt Field' 2008


Tobias Zielony (German, b. 1973)
Dirt Field
(aus der Serie Trona – Armpit of America)
56 x 84cm
Sammlung Halke / Courtesy KOW, Berlin
© Tobias Zielony



“Fredric Jameson wrote that in the postmodern world, the subject is not alienated but fragmented. He explained that the notion of alienation presumes a centralized, unitary self who could become lost to himself or herself. But if, as a postmodernist sees it, the self is decentred and multiple, the concept of alienation breaks down. All that is left is an anxiety of identity. The personal computer culture began with small machines that captured a post-1960s utopian vision of transparent understanding. Today, the personal computer culture’s most compelling objects give people a way to think concretely about an identity crisis. In simulation, identity can be fluid and multiple, a signifier no longer points to a thing that is signified, and understanding is less likely to proceed through analysis than by navigation through virtual space.”

Sherry Turkle 1



As we navigate these (virtual) worlds a signifier no longer points to a thing that is signified. In other words there is a split between referent and (un)known reality = a severance of meaning and its object.

“The image has nothing to do with signification, meaning, as implied by the existence of the world, the effort of truth, the law and the brightness of the day. Not only is the image of an object not the meaning of that object and of no help in comprehending it, but it tends to withdraw it from its meaning by maintaining it in the immobility of a resemblance that it has nothing to resemble.”2

Such is the case in these photographs. In their isolation each becomes the simulacra, the restaged models that are Thomas Demand’s photographs. That they do not allow any true reference to reality means that they become the image of memory in the present space. As the press release notes, “What happens to real places if a space loses its usual significance and can be experienced on a virtual plane?”

Kenneth Gergen observes, “The current texts of the self are built upon those of preceding eras, and they in turn upon more distant forms of discourse. In the end we have no way of “getting down to the self as it is.” And thus we edge toward the more unsettling question: On what grounds can we assume that beneath the layers of accumulated understandings there is, in fact, an obdurate “self” to be located? The object of understanding has been absorbed into the world of representations.”3

So we return to the split between referent and reality, a severance of meaning and its object in representation itself. These photographs, our Self and our world are becoming artefacts of hyperreality, of unallocated (un/all/located) space in which a unitary self/world has always been “lost.”

Dr Marcus Bunyan

Many thankx to the Hamburger Kunsthalle for allowing me to publish the photographs in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.


Beate Gütschow. 'S#11' 2005


Beate Gütschow (German, b. 1970)
Light Jet Print
180 x 232cm
Hamburger Kunsthalle
© Beate Gütschow / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2012


Alexandra Ranner. 'Schlafzimmer II' 2008


Alexandra Ranner (German, b. 1967)
Schlafzimmer II (Bedroom II)
Installation, Holz, Teppich, Styrodur, 
Licht, Farbe
H: 240cm, B: 500cm, L: 960cm
© Alexandra Ranner, Galerie Mathias 
Güntner, Hamburg / VG Bild-Kunst, 2012


Sarah Schönfeld. 'Wende-Gelände 01' 2006


Sarah Schönfeld (German, b. 1979)
Wende-Gelände 01
122 x 150cm
Privatsammlung / Courtesy Galerie 
Feldbuschwiesner, Berlin
© Sarah Schönfeld


Guy Tillim. 'Apartment Building, Avenue Bagamoyo, Beira, Mozambique' 2008


Guy Tillim (South African, b. 1962)
Apartment Building, Avenue Bagamoyo, Beira, Mozambique
(aus der Serie Avenue Patrice Lumumba)
Pigmentdruck auf Papier, kaschiert auf Aluminium
91.5 x 131.5cm
Guy Tillim / Courtesy Kuckei + Kuckei, Berlin und Stevenson, Cape Town
© Guy Tillim


Jeff Wall. 'Insomnia' 1994


Jeff Wall (Canadian, b. 1946)
Cibachrome in Leuchtkasten (Plexiglas, 
Aluminium, Leuchtröhren)
174 x 214cm
Hamburger Kunsthalle
© Jeff Wall



In recent years, photography has reached a new peak in artistic media. Starting with the Düsseldorf School, with artists such as Andreas Gursky, Thomas Struth, Thomas Ruff or Candida Höfer, a young generation of artists developed that adopted different approaches by which to present the subject-matter of “space” and “place” in an era of historic change and social crises. With the exhibition Lost Places, the Hamburger Kunsthalle art museum dedicates itself to these new approaches, which document a wide range of different places and living spaces and their increasing isolation through the media of photography, film and installation works.

Joel Sternfeld’s documentary photographs depict places that were crime scenes. Thomas Demand restages real crime scenes, initially as models in order to then photograph them. In turn, in her large-scale photographs, Beate Gütschow constructs cityscapes and landscapes that are reminiscent of well-known places, but that do not allow any true reference. Sarah Schönfeld illustrates “the image of memory in the present space” in her photographs. She visits old places from her GDR childhood and captures these in their present state, whereby both points in time collide. In his fictional video installation Nostalgia, Omer Fast recounts the story of illegal immigrants from three different perspectives.

In his book The collective memory, French philosopher Maurice Halbwachs pointed out the significance of “spatial images” for the memory of social communities. Today the reliable spatial contextualisation of objects and memories (also due to digital photography) is under threat, hence this pretence begins to crumble. What happens to real places if a space loses its usual significance and can be experienced on a virtual plane?

The exhibition comprises about 20 different approaches of contemporary photography and video art with many loans from museums and private collections. The exhibition features the following artists: Thomas Demand (*1964), Omer Fast (*1972), Beate Gütschow (*1970), Andreas Gursky (*1955), Candida Höfer (*1944), Sabine Hornig (*1964), Jan Köchermann (1967), Barbara Probst (*1964), Alexandra Ranner (*1967), Ben Rivers (*1972), Thomas Ruff (*1958), Gregor Schneider (*1969), Sarah Schönfeld (*1979), Joel Sternfeld (*1944), Thomas Struth (*1954), Guy Tillim (*1962), Jörn Vanhöfen (*1961), Jeff Wall (*1946) and Tobias Zielony (*1973).”

Press release from the Hamburger Kunsthalle website


Thomas Struth (German, b. 1954) 'Times Square, New York' 2000


Thomas Struth (German, b. 1954)
Times Square, New York
140.2 x 176.2cm
Courtesy Thomas Struth, Berlin
© Thomas Struth


Thomas Struth. 'Times Square, New York' 2000


Jörn Vanhöfen (German, b. 1961)
Asok #797
C-Print auf Aluminium
122 x 147cm
© Jörn Vanhöfen, courtesy: Kuckei + Kuckei, 


Thomas Demand. 'Haltestelle' 2009


Thomas Demand (German, b. 1964)
C-Print / Diasec
240 x 330cm
Thomas Demand, Berlin
© Thomas Demand / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2012


Thomas Demand. 'Parlament' 2009


Thomas Demand (German, b. 1964)
C-Print / Diasec
180 x 223cm
Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Nationalgalerie 2010 
erworben durch die Stiftung des Vereins der 
Freunde der Nationalgalerie für zeitgenössische Kunst
© Thomas Demand / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2012


Tobias Zielony. 'Vela Azzurra' 2010


Tobias Zielony (German, b. 1973)
Vela Azzurra
(aus der Serie Vele)
150 x 120cm
Tobias Zielony / Courtesy und KOW, Berlin und Lia Rumma, Neapel
© Tobias Zielony


Andreas Gursky. 'Sáo Paulo Sé' 2002


Andreas Gursky (German, b. 1955)
Sáo Paulo Sé
C-Print, Plexiglas
286 x 206cm
Dauerleihgabe der Stiftung für die 
Hamburger Kunstsammlungen
© SHK/Hamburger Kunsthalle/bpk/ 
VG Bild-Kunst, 2012


Andreas Gursky. 'Ohne Titel XIII (Mexico)' 2002


Andreas Gursky (German, b. 1955)
Ohne Titel XIII (Mexico)
276 x 206cm
Dauerleihgabe der Stiftung für die 
Hamburger Kunstsammlungen
© SHK/Hamburger Kunsthalle/bpk/ VG 
Bild-Kunst, 2012



Hamburger Kunsthalle
Glockengießerwall 20095
Phone: +49 (0) 40 – 428 131 200

Opening hours:
Tuesdays to Sundays 10am – 6pm
Closed Mondays

Hamburger Kunsthalle website


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Exhibition: ‘Painting in Photography. Strategies of Appropriation’ at the Städel Museum, Frankfurt

Exhibition dates: 27th June – 23rd September 2012


Installation view of the exhibition 'Painting in Photography. Strategies of Appropriation' at the Städel Museum, Frankfurt


Installation view of the exhibition Painting in Photography. Strategies of Appropriation at the Städel Museum, Frankfurt



To understand the production of art at the end of tradition, which in our lifetime means art at the end of modernism, requires, as the postmodern debate has shown, a careful consideration of the idea of history and the notion of ending. Rather than just thinking ending as the arrival of the finality of a fixed chronological moment, it can also be thought as a slow and indecisive process of internal decomposition that leaves in place numerous deposits of us, in us and with us – all with a considerable and complex afterlife. In this context all figuration is prefigured. This is to say that the design element of the production of a work of art, the compositional, now exists prior to the management of form of, and on, the picture plane. Techniques of assemblage, like montage and collage – which not only juxtaposed different aesthetics but also different historical moments, were the precursors of what is now the general condition of production.

“Art Byting the Dust” Tony Fry 1990 1



They said that photography would be the death of painting. It never happened. Recently they thought that digital photography would be the death of analogue photography. It hasn’t happened for there are people who care enough about analogue photography to keep it going, no matter what. As the quotation astutely observes, the digital age has changed the conditions of production updating the techniques of montage and collage for the 21st century. Now through assemblage the composition may be prefigured but that does not mean that there are not echoes, traces and deposits of other technologies, other processes that are not evidenced in contemporary photography.

As photography influenced painting when it first appeared and vice versa (photography went through a period known as Pictorialism where where it imitated Impressionist painting), this exhibition highlights the influence of painting on later photography. Whatever process it takes photography has always been about painting with light – through a pinhole, through a microscope, through a camera lens; using light directly onto photographic paper, using the light of the scanner or the computer screen. As Paul Virilio observes, no longer is there a horizon line but the horizon square of the computer screen, still a picture plane that evidences the history of art and life. Vestiges of time and technology are somehow always present not matter what medium an artist chooses. They always have a complex afterlife and afterimage.

Dr Marcus Bunyan

PS. I really don’t think it is a decomposition, more like a re/composition or reanimation.
PPS. Notice how Otto Steinert’s Luminogramm (1952, below), is eerily similar to some of Pierre Soulages paintings.


  1. Fry, Tony. “Art Byting the Dust,” in Hayward, Phillip. Culture, Technology and Creativity in the Late Twentieth Century. London: John Libbey and Company, 1990, pp. 169-170

Many thankx to the Städel Musuem for allowing me to publish the photographs in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.



Installation view of the exhibition 'Painting in Photography. Strategies of Appropriation' at the Städel Museum, Frankfurt

Installation view of the exhibition 'Painting in Photography. Strategies of Appropriation' at the Städel Museum, Frankfurt


Installation views of the exhibition Painting in Photography. Strategies of Appropriation at the Städel Museum, Frankfurt


Otto Steinert (1915-1978) 'Ein-Fuß-Gänger' 1950


Otto Steinert (German, 1915-1978)
Gelatin silver print
28.5 x 39cm
Courtesy Galerie Kicken Berlin
© Nachlass Otto Steinert, Museum Folkwang, Essen


Laszlo Moholy-Nagy (1895-1946) 'Photogram' c. 1923-25


Laszlo Moholy-Nagy (Hungarian, 1895-1946)
c. 1923-25
Unique photogram, toned printing-out paper
12.6 x 17.6 cm
Courtesy Galerie Kicken Berlin
© Hattula Moholy-Nagy / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn


Robert Rauschenberg (1925-2008) '10-80-C-17 (NYC)' 1980


Robert Rauschenberg (American, 1925-2008)
10-80-C-17 (NYC)
From the series: In + Out of City Limits: New York / Boston
Gelatin silver print on fibre-based paper
58 x 73cm
DZ BANK Kunstsammlung at the Städel Museum
© Estate of Robert Rauschenberg / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2012


Thomas Ruff (b. 1958) 'Substrat 10' 2002


Thomas Ruff (German, b. 1958)
Substrat 10
C-type print
186 x 238cm
DZ BANK Kunstsammlung
© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2012


Hiroshi Sugimoto (Japanese, b. 1948) 'Sam Eric, Pennsylvania' 1978


Hiroshi Sugimoto (Japanese, b. 1948)
Sam Eric, Pennsylvania
Gelatin silver print
42.5 x 54.5cm
Private collection, Frankfurt
© Hiroshi Sugimoto / Courtesy The Pace Gallery


Wolfgang Tillmans (German, b. 1968) 'paper drop (window)' 2006


Wolfgang Tillmans (German, b. 1968)
paper drop (window)
C-type print in artists frame
145 x 200cm
Property of Städelscher Museums-Verein e.V.
© Courtesy Galerie Buchholz, Köln / Berlin
Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main
Acquired in 2008 with funds from the Städelkomitee 21. Jahrhundert


Otto Steinert (German, 1915-1978) 'Luminogramm' 1952


Otto Steinert (German, 1915-1978)
Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1952
41.5 x 60cm
Courtesy Galerie Kicken Berlin
© Nachlass Otto Steinert, Museum Folkwang, Essen



From 27 June to 23 September 2012, the Städel Museum will show the exhibition “Painting in Photography. Strategies of Appropriation.” The comprehensive presentation will highlight the influence of painting on the imagery produced by contemporary photographic art. Based on the museum’s own collection and including important loans from the DZ Bank Kunstsammlung as well as international private collections and galleries, the exhibition at the Städel will centre on about 60 examples, among them major works by László Moholy-Nagy, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Wolfgang Tillmans, Thomas Ruff, Jeff Wall, and Amelie von Wulffen. Whereas the influence of the medium of photography on the “classic genres of art” has already been the subject of analysis in numerous exhibitions and publications, less attention has been paid to the impact of painting on contemporary photography to date. The show at the Städel explores the reflection of painting in the photographic image by pursuing various artistic strategies of appropriation which have one thing in common: they reject the general expectation held about photography that it will document reality in an authentic way.

The key significance of photography within contemporary art and its incorporation into the collection of the Städel Museum offer an occasion to fathom the relationship between painting and photography in an exhibition. While painting dealt with the use of photography in the mass media in the 1960s, today’s photographic art shows itself seriously concerned with the conditions of painting. Again and again, photography reflects, thematises, or represents the traditional pictorial medium, maintaining an ambivalent relationship between appropriation and detachment.

Numerous works presented in the Städel’s exhibition return to the painterly abstractions of the prewar and postwar avant-gardes, translate them into the medium of photography, and thus avoid a reproduction of reality. Early examples for the adaption of techniques of painting in photography are László Moholy-Nagy’s (1895-1946) photograms dating from the 1920s. For his photographs shot without a camera, the Hungarian artist and Bauhaus teacher arranged objects on a sensitised paper; these objects left concrete marks as supposedly abstract forms under the influence of direct sunlight. In Otto Steinert’s (1915-1978) nonrepresentational light drawings or “luminigrams,” the photographer’s movement inscribed itself directly into the sensitised film. The pictures correlate with the gestural painting of Jackson Pollock’s Abstract Expressionism. A product of random operations during the exposure and development of the photographic paper, Wolfgang Tillmans’ (*1968) work “Freischwimmer 54” (2004) is equally far from representing the external world. It is the pictures’ fictitious depth, transparency, and dynamics that lend Thomas Ruff’s photographic series “Substrat” its extraordinary painterly quality recalling colour field paintings or Informel works. For his series “Seascapes” the Japanese artist Hiroshi Sugimoto (*1948) seems to have “emptied” the motif through a long exposure time: the sublime pictures of the surface of the sea and the sky – which either blur or are set off against each other – seem to transcend time and space.

In addition to the photographs mentioned, the exhibition “Painting in Photography” includes works by artists who directly draw on the history of painting in their choice of motifs. The mise-en-scène piece “Picture for Women” (1979) by the Canadian photo artist Jeff Wall (born in 1946), which relates to Édouard Manet’s famous painting “Un Bar aux Folies-Bergère” from 1882, may be cited as an example for this approach. The camera positioned in the centre of the picture reveals the mirrored scene and turns into the eye of the beholder. The fictitious landscape pictures by Beate Gütschow (born in 1970), which consist of digitally assembled fragments, recall ideal Arcadian sceneries of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The photographs taken by Italian Luigi Ghirri (1943-1992) in the studio of Giorgio Morandi (1890-1964) “copy” Morandi’s still lifes by representing the real objects in the painter’s studio instead of his paintings.

Another appropriative strategy sees the artist actually becoming active as a painter, transforming either the object he has photographed or its photographic representation. Oliver Boberg’s, Richard Hamilton’s, Georges Rousse’s and Amelie von Wulffen’s works rank in this category. For her series “Stadtcollagen” (1998-1999) Amelie von Wulffen (born in 1966) assembled drawing, photography, and painting to arrive at the montage of a new reality. The artist’s recollections merge with imaginary spaces offering the viewer’s fantasy an opportunity for his or her own associations.

The exhibition also encompasses positions of photography for which painting is the object represented in the picture. The most prominent examples in this section come from Sherrie Levine (born in 1947) and Louise Lawler (born in 1947), both representatives of US Appropriation Art. From the late 1970s on, Levine and Lawler have photographically appropriated originals from art history. Levine uses reproductions of paintings from a catalogue published in the 1920s: she photographs them and makes lithographs of her pictures. Lawler photographs works of art in private rooms, museums, and galleries and thus rather elucidates the works’ artworld context than the works as such.

Press release from the Städel Museum website


Sherrie Levine (b. 1947) 'After Edgar Degas' 1987 (detail)


Sherrie Levine (American, b. 1947)
After Edgar Degas (detail)
5 lithographs on hand-made paper
69 x 56cm
DZ BANK Kunstsammlung im Städel Museum, Frankfurt
© Sherrie Levine / Courtesy Jablonka Galerie, Köln


Louise Lawler (American, b. 1947) 'It Could Be Elvis' 1994


Louise Lawler (American, b. 1947)
It Could Be Elvis
Cibachrome, varnished with shellac
74.5 x 91cm
DZ BANK Kunstsammlung at the Städel Museum
© Courtesy of the artist and Metro Pictures, New York


Oliver Boberg (German, b. 1965) 'Unterführung' [Underpass] 1997


Oliver Boberg (German, b. 1965)
Unterführung [Underpass]
C-type print
75 x 84cm
DZ BANK Kunstsammlung
© Oliver Boberg / Courtesy L.A. Galerie – Lothar Albrecht, Frankfurt


Richard Hamilton (1922-2011) 'Eight-Self-Portraits' 1994 (detail)


Richard Hamilton (English, 1922-2011)
Eight-Self-Portraits (detail)
Thermal dye sublimation prints
40 x 35cm
DZ BANK Kunstsammlung
© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2012


Wolfgang Tillmans (German, b. 1968) 'Freischwimmer 54' 2004


Wolfgang Tillmans (German, b. 1968)
Freischwimmer 54
C-type in artists frame
237 x 181 x 6cm
Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main
© Courtesy Galerie Buchholz, Köln / Berlin
Acquired in 2008 with funds from the Städelkomitee 21. Jahrhundert
Property of Städelscher Museums-Verein e.V.



Städel Museum
Schaumainkai 63
60596 Frankfurt

Opening hours:
Tuesday – Wednesday 10am – 6pm
Thursday – Friday 10am – 9pm
Saturday – Sunday 10am – 6pm

Städel Museum 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: ‘Orphans and small groups’ 1994-96 Part 2

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