Posts Tagged ‘Dresden

11
Feb
15

Exhibition: ‘Conflict, Time, Photography’ at Tate Modern, London

Exhibition dates: 26th November 2014 – 15th March 2015

The Eyal Ofer Galleries

Artists: Jules Andrieu, Pierre Antony-Thouret, Nobuyoshi Araki, George Barnard, Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin, Luc Delahaye, Ken Domon, Roger Fenton, Ernst Friedrich, Jim Goldberg, Toshio Fukada, Kenji Ishiguro, Kikuji Kawada, An-My Lê, Jerzy Lewczyński, Emeric Lhuisset, Agata Madejska, Diana Matar, Eiichi Matsumoto, Chloe Dewe Mathews, Don McCullin, Susan Meiselas, Kenzo Nakajima, Simon Norfolk, João Penalva, Richard Peter, Walid Raad, Jo Ratcliffe, Sophie Ristelhueber, Julian Rosefeldt, Hrair Sarkissian, Michael Schmidt, Ursula Schulz-Dornburg, Indre Šerpytyte, Stephen Shore, Harry Shunk and János Kender, Taryn Simon, Shomei Tomatsu, Hiromi Tsuchida, Marc Vaux, Paul Virilio, Nick Waplington, Jane and Louise Wilson, and Sasaki Yuichiro.

Curators: Simon Baker, Curator Photography and International Art, Shoair Mavlian, Assistant Curator, and Professor David Alan Mellor, University of Sussex

 

 

Roger Fenton. 'The Valley of the Shadow of Death' 1855

 

Roger Fenton (British, 1819-1869)
The Valley of the Shadow of Death
1855

 

 

Another fascinating exhibition. The concept, that of vanishing time, a vanquishing of time – inspired by Kurt Vonnegut’s 1969 novel Slaughterhouse-Five and the Japanese photographer Kikuji Kawada’s 1965 photobook The Map – is simply inspired. Although the images are not war photography per se, they are about the lasting psychological effects of war imaged on a variable time scale.

While the images allow increasing passages of time between events and the photographs that reflect on them – “made moments after the events they depict, then those made days after, then months, years and so on” – there settles in the pit of the stomach some unremitting melancholy, some unholy dread as to the brutal facticity and inhumanness of war. The work which “pictures” the memory of the events that took place, like a visual ode of remembrance, are made all the more powerful for their transcendence – of time, of death and the immediate detritus of war.

Marcus

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

 

 

“… taking its cue from Vonnegut, ‘Conflict, Time, Photography’ is arranged differently, following instead the increasing passages of time between events and the photographs that reflect on them. There are groups of works made moments after the events they depict, then those made days after, then months, years and so on – 10, 20, 50, right up to 100 years later.”

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Simon Baker

 

 

Shomei Tomatsu 'Atomic Bomb Damage - Wristwatch Stopped at 11-02, August 9. 1945' (1961)

 

Shomei Tomatsu (Japanese, 1930-2012)
Atomic Bomb Damage – Wristwatch Stopped at 11.02, August 9, 1945, Nagasaki, 1961
1961
Gelatin silver print on paper
253 x 251mm
Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Tokyo

 

Shomei Tomatsu. 'Steel Helmet with Skull Bone Fused by Atomic Bomb, Nagasaki, 1963'

 

Shomei Tomatsu (Japanese, 1930-2012)
Steel Helmet with Skull Bone Fused by Atomic Bomb, Nagasaki, 1963
1963
Gelatin silver print on paper
226 x 303mm
Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Tokyo

 

Shomei Tomatsu. 'Melted bottle' Nagasaki, 1961

 

Shomei Tomatsu (Japanese, 1930-2012)
Melted bottle
Nagasaki, 1961
from the series Nagasaki 11:02
Silver Gelatin print
20 x 21cm
© Shomei Tomatsu

 

 

“From the seconds after a bomb is detonated to a former scene of battle years after a war has ended, this moving exhibition focuses on the passing of time, tracing a diverse and poignant journey through over 150 years of conflict around the world, since the invention of photography.

In an innovative move, the works are ordered according to how long after the event they were created from moments, days and weeks to decades later. Photographs taken seven months after the fire bombing of Dresden are shown alongside those taken seven months after the end of the First Gulf War. Images made in Vietnam 25 years after the fall of Saigon are shown alongside those made in Nakasaki 25 years after the atomic bomb. The result is the chance to make never-before-made connections while viewing the legacy of war as artists and photographers have captured it in retrospect…

The exhibition is staged to coincide with the 2014 centenary and concludes with new and recent projects by British, German, Polish and Syrian photographers which reflect on the First World War a century after it began.”

Text from the Tate Modern website

 

“The original idea for the Tate Modern exhibition Conflict, Time, Photography came from a coincidence between two books that have captivated and inspired me for many years: Kurt Vonnegut‘s classic 1969 novel Slaughterhouse-Five and the Japanese photographer Kikuji Kawada’s 1965 photobook The Map. Both look back to hugely significant and controversial incidents from the Second World War from similar distances.

Vonnegut was a prisoner of war in Dresden when what he called ‘possibly the world’s most beautiful city’ was destroyed by incendiary bombs, and struggled to write his war book for almost 25 years. Kawada was a young photographer working in post-war Hiroshima when he began to take the strange photographs of the scarred, stained ceiling of the A-bomb Dome – the only building to survive the explosion – that he would eventually publish on August 6 1965, 20 years to the day since the atomic bomb was dropped on the city.

It may seem odd that these great works of art and literature took so long to emerge from the aftermath of the events they concern. But many of the most complex and considered accounts of conflict have taken their time. To Vonnegut’s painfully slow response to the war, for example, we might add Joseph Heller’s brilliantly satirical Catch-22, published in 1961, and, even more significantly, JG Ballard’s memorial masterpiece Empire of the Sun, which did not see the light of day until 1984.

And today, in 2014, 100 years since the start of the First World War, it seems more important than ever not only to understand the nature and long-term effects of conflict, but also the process of looking back at the past…”

Extract from Simon Baker. “War photography: what happens after the conflict?” on The Telegraph website, 7th November 2014 [Online] Cited 09/02/2015

 

An-My Lê. 'Untitled, Hanoi' (1994-98)

 

An-My Lê (Vietnamese-American, b. 1960)
Untitled, Hanoi
1994-98
Gelatin silver print on paper
508 x 609mm
Courtesy the artist and Murray Guy, New York

 

Jane Wilson (born 1967) Louise Wilson (born 1967) 'Urville' 2006

 

Jane Wilson (British, born 1967)
Louise Wilson (British, born 1967)
Urville
2006
Gelatin silver print, mounted onto aluminium
1800 x 1800mm
Tate
Purchased 2011

 

Jane Wilson and Louise Wilson 'Azeville' 2006

 

Jane Wilson (British, born 1967)
Louise Wilson (British, born 1967)
Azeville
2006
Gelatin silver print, mounted onto aluminium
1800 x 2900mm
Tate
Purchased 2011

 

Jo Ractliffe. 'As Terras do fim do Mundo' Nd

 

Jo Ractliffe (South African, b. 1961)
As Terras do fim do Mundo (The Lands of the End of the World)
2009-2010
Courtesy Mark McCain collection

 

 

“At first glance, Jo Ractliffe’s black-and-white shots of sun-baked African landscapes look random and bland: rocks, dirt, scrubby trees; some handwritten signs but no people. Only when reading the titles – “Mass Grave at Cassinga,” “Minefield Near Mupa” – do you learn where the people are, or once were, and the pictures snap into expressive focus.

Ms. Ractliffe, who lives in Johannesburg, took the photographs in 2009 and 2010 in Angola on visits to now-deserted places that were important to that country’s protracted civil war and to the intertwined struggle of neighbouring Namibia to gain independence from South Africa’s apartheid rule. South Africa played an active role in both conflicts, giving military support to insurgents who resisted Angola’s leftist government, and hunting down Namibian rebels who sought safety within Angola’s borders.

It’s through this historical lens that Ms. Ractliffe views landscape: as morally neutral terrain rendered uninhabitable by terrible facts from the past – the grave of hundreds of Namibia refugees, most of them children, killed in an air raid; the unknown numbers of land mines buried in Angola’s soil. Some are now decades old but can still detonate, so the killing goes on.”

Holland Cotter. “Jo Ratcliffe: ‘As Terras do Fim do Mundo (The Lands of the End of the World)’,” on The New York Times website May 26, 2011 [Online] Cited 12/07/2021

 

Kikuji Kawada. 'Hinomaru, Japanese National Flag' from the series 'The Map' 1965

 

Kikuji Kawada (Japanese, b. 1933)
Hinomaru, Japanese National Flag
1965
From the series The Map
Gelatin silver print
279 x 355mm
© Kikuji Kawada, courtesy the artist and Photo Gallery International, Tokyo

 

Kikuji Kawada. 'Lucky Strike' 1962

 

Kikuji Kawada (Japanese, b. 1933)
Lucky Strike
1962
From the series The Map
© Kikuji Kawada, courtesy the artist and Photo Gallery International, Tokyo

 

Kikuji Kawada. 'The A-Bomb Memorial Dome and Ohta River'

 

Kikuji Kawada (Japanese, b. 1933)
The A-Bomb Memorial Dome and Ohta River from the series The Map
Hiroshima 1960-65
Gelatin silver print
© Kikuji Kawada

 

 

Points of memory: Kikuji Kawada

My first published photo book, The Map, took me five years to complete, beginning in 1960. In late 1961 a solo show with work from the series was held at Fuji Photo Salon in Tokyo, organised in three parts.

The first featured a ruined castle that was blown up intentionally by the Japanese army during the Second World War. The second comprised photographs taken a decade after the atomic bomb exploded in Hiroshima. They showed the stains and flaking ceilings of the Atomic Bomb Dome, the only structure left standing at the heart of the detonation zone. The third part concerned Tokyo during the period of economic recovery: images of advertising, scrap iron, the trampled national flag and emblems of the American Forces such as Lucky Strike and Coca-Cola, all twisted together, their order shuffled again and again. Some appeared as a montage to be presented as a metaphor. I dare not say the meaning of it.

These works led me to attempt to create this photographic book, using the notion of the map as a clue to the future and to question the whereabouts of my spirit. Discarded memorial photographs, a farewell note, kamikaze pilots – the illusions of various maps that emerge are to me like a discussion with the devil. The stains are situated as a key image of the series by drawing a future stratum and sealing the history, the nationality, the fear and anxiety of destruction and prosperity. It was almost a metaphor for the growth and the fall.

On the back of the black cover box are written rhyming words that are almost impossible to read. The front cover shows that the words are about to burn out. Inside, the pages are laid out as hinged double fold-out spreads. The repetition of the act of opening and closing makes the images appear and disappear. I wanted to have a book design as a new object and something that goes beyond the contents. With the rich and chaotic nature of monochrome, it might be that I tried to find my early style within the illusion of reality by abstracting the phenomenon. As an observer, I would like to keep forcing myself into the future, never losing the sense of danger which emerges in the conflicts of daily life. I wish to harmonise my old distorted maps with the heartbeat of this exhibition at Tate Modern, twisting across the bridges of the centuries through conflicting space and time.

Kikuji Kawada is a photographer based in Tokyo.

“Points of memory: Kikuji Kawada: Conflict, Time, Photography,” on the Tate Modern website 3 December 2014 [Online] Cited 12/07/2021

 

Richard Peter. 'Dresden After Allied Raids Germany' 1945

 

Richard Peter (German, 1895-1977)
Dresden After Allied Raids Germany
1945
© SLUB Dresden / Deutsche Fotothek / Richard Peter, sen.

 

Toshio Fukada. 'The Mushroom Cloud - Less than twenty minutes after the explosion (4)' 1945

 

Toshio Fukada (Japanese, b. 1928)
The Mushroom Cloud – Less than twenty minutes after the explosion (4)
1945
Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography
© The estate of Toshio Fukada, courtesy Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum

 

Jerzy Lewczyński. 'Wolf's Lair / Adolf Hitler's War Headquarters' 1960

 

Jerzy Lewczyński (Polish, 1924-2014)
Wolf’s Lair / Adolf Hitler’s War Headquarters
1960
© Jerzy Lewczyński

 

Don McCullin. 'Shell Shocked US Marine, Vietnam, The Battle of Hue' 1968

 

Don McCullin (British, b. 1935)
Shell Shocked US Marine, Vietnam, The Battle of Hue
1968, printed 2013
© Don McCullin

 

Ursula Schulz-Dornburg. 'Kurchatov - Architecture of a Nuclear Test Site Kazakhstan. Opytnoe Pole' 2012

 

Ursula Schulz-Dornburg (German, b. 1938)
Kurchatov – Architecture of a Nuclear Test Site Kazakhstan. Opytnoe Pole
2012
Courtesy of the artist’s studio
© Ursula Schultz-Domburg

 

 

Conflict, Time, Photography brings together photographers who have looked back at moments of conflict, from the seconds after a bomb is detonated to 100 years after a war has ended. Staged to coincide with the centenary of the First World War, this major group exhibition offers an alternative to familiar notions of war reportage and photojournalism, instead focusing on the passing of time and the unique ways that artists have used the camera to reflect on past events.

Conflicts from around the world and across the modern era are depicted, revealing the impact of war days, weeks, months and years after the fact. The works are ordered according to how long after the event they were created: images taken weeks after the end of the American Civil War are hung alongside those taken weeks after the atomic bombs fell on Japan in 1945. Photographs from Nicaragua taken 25 years after the revolution are grouped with those taken in Vietnam 25 years after the fall of Saigon. The exhibition concludes with new and recent projects by British, German, Polish and Syrian photographers which reflect on the First World War a century after it began.

The broad range of work reflects the many different ways in which conflict impacts on people’s lives. The immediate trauma of war can be seen in the eyes of Don McCullin’s Shell-shocked US Marine 1968, while the destruction of buildings and landscapes is documented by Pierre Antony-Thouret’s Reims After the War (published in 1927) and Simon Norfolk’s Afghanistan: Chronotopia 2001-2002. Other photographers explore the human cost of conflict, from Stephen Shore’s account of displaced Jewish survivors of the Second World War in the Ukraine, to Taryn Simon’s meticulously researched portraits of those descended from victims of the Srebrenica massacre.

Different conflicts also reappear from multiple points in time throughout the exhibition, whether as rarely-seen historical images or recent photographic installations. The Second World War for example is addressed in Jerzy Lewczyński’s 1960 photographs of the Wolf’s Lair / Adolf Hitler’s War Headquarters, Shomei Tomatsu’s images of objects found in Nagasaki, Kikuji Kawada’s epic project The Map made in Hiroshima in the 1960s, Michael Schmidt’s Berlin streetscapes from 1980, and Nick Waplington’s 1993 close-ups of cell walls from a Prisoner of War camp in Wales.

As part of Conflict, Time, Photography, a special room within the exhibition has been guest-curated by the Archive of Modern Conflict. Drawing on their unique and fascinating private collection, the Archive presents a range of photographs, documents and other material to provide an alternative view of war and memory.

Conflict, Time, Photography is curated at Tate Modern by Simon Baker, Curator of Photography and International Art, with Shoair Mavlian, Assistant Curator, and Professor David Mellor, University of Sussex. It is organised by Tate Modern in association with the Museum Folkwang, Essen and the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, Dresden, where it will tour in spring and summer 2015 respectively. The exhibition is also accompanied by a fully-illustrated catalogue from Tate Publishing and a programme of talks, events and film screenings at Tate Modern.

Press release from the Tate Modern website

 

Simon Norfolk. 'Bullet-scarred apartment building' 2003

 

Simon Norfolk
 (British, born Nigeria 1963)
Bullet-scarred apartment building and shops in the Karte Char district of Kabul. This area saw fighting between Hikmetyar and Rabbani and then between Rabbani and the Hazaras
2003
© Simon Norfolk

 

Susan Meiselas. 'Managua, July 2004' from the series 'Reframing History'

 

Susan Meiselas (American, b. 1948)
Managua, July 2004
2004
From the series Reframing History

 

 

“Cuesto del Plomo,” hillside outside Managua, a well-known site of many assassinations carried out by the National Guard. People searched here daily for missing persons. July 1978, from the series, “Reframing History,” Managua, July 2004

In July 2004, for the 25th anniversary of the overthrow of Somoza, Susan returned to Nicaragua with nineteen mural-sized images of her photographs from 1978-1979, collaborating with local communities to create sites for collective memory. The project, “Reframing History,” placed murals on public walls and in open spaces in the towns, at the sites where the photographs were originally made.

 

 

Nick Waplington. 'Untitled' from the series 'We Live as We Dream, Alone' 1993

 

Nick Waplington (British, b. 1965)
Untitled
1993
From the series We Live as We Dream, Alone

 

Nick Waplington. 'Untitled' from the series 'We Live as We Dream, Alone' 1993

 

Nick Waplington (British, b. 1965)
Untitled
1993
From the series We Live as We Dream, Alone

 

 

Nick Waplington’s deeply moving and once controversial photographs of the cells of Barry Island prison, where Nazi SS Officers were held prisoner before the Nuremburg trials, were taken in 1993, almost 50 years after the prisoners had embellished the cell walls with Germanic slogans and drawings of pin-up girls and Bavarian landscapes will be displayed. The half-century that elapsed between the photographs and the creation of their subject is grim testament to the enduring legacy of conflict…

“In 1992 I was commissioned to make work by the Neue galerie in Graz, Austria and the theme was war or “krieg” as it is in German. Graz is on the border with Yugoslavia and there was war in Yugoslavia at the time. I think they were hoping that I would make something to do with the war that was taking place between Croatia and Serbia and Bosnia. I did go to the war; you went to Zagreb and got a UN pass and went in to the warzone. It was very interesting to be taken into the warzone but ultimately I got back to England and I decided – to the annoyance of the gallery – that I was thinking about Austria instead. At the time, the president of Austria, Kurt Waldheim, had been exposed as a member of the SS and had been informing Yugoslavia during the war [World War Two] and the Austrians were very unconcerned about this. I thought I’d much prefer to make work that had the Austrians confronting their Nazi past rather than about the current conflict. I knew about the prison in Barry Island in South Wales where the SS were held before they were sent to Nuremburg for the trial and I started taking a series of photographs in the prison. It was lucky that I did because it was demolished the following year by the MOD. It’s gone now. When I got there, I saw the prisoners had been drawing on the walls. They’re mossy and crumbling but you can see Germanic lettering and Bavarian landscapes and women with 1940s haircuts. They are evocative and powerful given the emotive history. ”

Extract from Elliot Watson. “Nick Waplington: Conflict, Rim, Photography,” on the Hunger TV website, 26th November 2014 [Online] Cited 09/02/2015. No longer available online

 

Sophie Ristelhueber. 'Fait #25' 1992

 

Sophie Ristelhueber (French, born 1949)
Fait #25
1992
71 photographs, gelatin silver prints mounted on aluminium
Object, each: 1000 x 1240 x 50mm
National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. Purchased 2013

 

Sophie Ristelhueber. 'Fait #44' 1992

 

Sophie Ristelhueber (French, born 1949)
Fait #44
1992
71 photographs, gelatin silver prints mounted on aluminium
Object, each: 1000 x 1240 x 50mm
National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. Purchased 2013

 

Sophie Ristelhueber. 'Fait #46' 1992

 

Sophie Ristelhueber (French, born 1949)
Fait #46
1992
71 photographs, gelatin silver prints mounted on aluminium
Object, each: 1000 x 1240 x 50mm
National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. Purchased 2013

 

Luc Delahaye. 'US Bombing on Taliban Positions' 2001

 

Luc Delahaye (French, b. 1962)
US Bombing on Taliban Positions
2001
C-print
238.6 x 112.2cm
Courtesy Luc Delahaye and Galerie Nathalie Obadia, Paris/Bruxelles

 

Chloe Dewe Mathews. 'Vebranden-Molen, West-Vlaanderen' 2013

 

Chloe Dewe Mathews (British, b. 1982)
Vebranden-Molen, West-Vlaanderen
2013
Soldat Ahmed ben Mohammed el Yadjizy
Soldat Ali ben Ahmed ben Frej ben Khelil
Soldat Hassen ben Ali ben Guerra el Amolani
Soldat Mohammed Ould Mohammed ben Ahmed
17:00 / 15.12.1914
From the series Shot at Dawn
© Chloe Dewe Mathews

 

Chloe Dewe Mathews. 'Former Abattoir, Mazingarbe, Nord-Pas-de-Calais' 2013

 

Chloe Dewe Mathews (British, b. 1982)
Former Abattoir, Mazingarbe, Nord-Pas-de-Calais
2013
Eleven British soldiers were executed here between 1915-18
From the series Shot at Dawn
© Chloe Dewe Mathews

 

 

Seeing what can’t be seen

“This is a challenge still faced by photographers today. Two years ago, the British documentary photographer Chloe Dewe Mathews set about creating a series of her own responding to the World War One. Called Shot at Dawn, it expresses her shock upon discovering that during the conflict around a thousand British, French and Belgian troops were condemned for cowardice or desertion before being executed the following morning by firing squads consisting of comrades from their own battalions. “I never knew this happened,” she tells me. “Until quite recently, no one really talked about it, because the subject was so contentious and taboo.”

Researching her series, Dewe Mathews worked closely with academics to locate the forgotten places along the western front where these unfortunate combatants had been shot. She then travelled to each spot and set up her camera there at dawn, recording whatever could be seen a century after the executions had taken place.

The results are eerie and elegiac – otherwise unremarkable, empty landscapes infused with a powerful sense of mourning, outrage and loss.”

Extract from Alastair Sooke. “Beyond boots and guns: A new look at the horrors of war,” on BBC Culture website, 11 November 2014 [Online] Cited 09/02/2015

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For more information please see the excellent article by Sean O’Hagan. “Chloe Dewe Mathews’s Shot at Dawn: a moving photographic memorial” on The Guardian website [Online] Cited 09/02/2015

 

Chloe Dewe Mathews. 'Six Farm, Loker, West-Vlaanderen' 2013

 

Chloe Dewe Mathews (British, b. 1982)
Six Farm, Loker, West-Vlaanderen
2013
Private Joseph Byers
Private Andrew Evans
Time unknown / 6.2.1915
Private George E. Collins
07:30 / 15.2.1915
© Chloe Dewe Mathews

 

Stephen Shore. 'Tzylia Bederman, Bucha, Ukraine, July 18, 2012'

 

Stephen Shore (American, b. 1947)
Tzylia Bederman, Bucha, Ukraine, July 18, 2012
2012
Courtesy of Stephen Shore

 

Pierre Anthony-Thouret. 'Plate I' 1927 from 'Reims after the war'

 

Pierre Anthony-Thouret (French, 1861-1926)
Plate I
1927
from Reims after the war. The mutilated cathedral. The devastated city.
Private collection, London

 

 

The limits of realism

“So how can photographers respond to conflict if not by employing strategies commonly found in photojournalism about war? One alternative approach is to focus less on documenting the heat of battle and more on remembrance – something that feels relevant this year, which marks the centenary of the start of the World War One.

Some of the most moving evocations of the Great War were captured by commercial photographers who arrived in northeast France in the wake of the conflict, when people began travelling to the region in order to see for themselves the extent of the devastation of local villages, towns, and cities. There was enormous appetite for images recording the destruction, available in the form of cheap guidebooks and postcards.

“This is one of the first episodes of mass tourism in the history of the world,” explains [curator Simon] Baker. “There were 300 million postcards sent from the western front, for instance by people visiting the places where their relatives had died. And the photographers had to make these incredible compromises: making photographs of places that weren’t there anymore.”

In the case of Craonne, which was entirely obliterated by artillery, the village had to be rebuilt on a nearby site, while the ruins of the original settlement were abandoned to nature. As a result, the only way for photographers to identify Craonne was by providing a caption.

“The idea of photographing absence became really important,” says Baker. “War is about destruction, removing things, disappearance. A really interesting photographic language about disappearance in conflict emerged and it is extremely powerful. How does one record something that is gone?””

Extract from Alastair Sooke. “Beyond boots and guns: A new look at the horrors of war,” on BBC Culture website, 11 November 2014 [Online] Cited 09/02/2015

 

Pierre Anthony-Thouret. 'Plate XXXVIII' 1927

 

Pierre Anthony-Thouret (French, 1861-1926)
Plate XXXVIII
1927
from Reims after the war. The mutilated cathedral. The devastated city.
Private collection, London

 

 

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Bankside
London SE1 9TG
United Kingdom

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24
Aug
13

Exhibition: ‘Wols’ Photography: Images Regained’ at the Kupferstich-Kabinett, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden

Exhibition dates: 17th May – 26th August 2013

 

Otto Wols (Alfred Otto Wolfgang Schulze) (German, 1913-1951) 'Nicole Bouban, Autumn 1932 - October 1933 / january 1935-1937' 1937

 

Otto Wols (Alfred Otto Wolfgang Schulze) (German, 1913-1951)
Nicole Bouban, Autumn 1932 – October 1933 / january 1935-1937
1937, vintage print 1937
Gelatin silver print
300 x 240mm
Cabinet of Prints, Dresden State Art Collections

 

 

Another little known photographer (to me at least) that this blog likes promoting. Unfortunately the gallery did not supply many media images and there are few available online.

Marcus

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

 

 

Otto Wols (Alfred Otto Wolfgang Schulze) (German, 1913-1951) 'Untitled (Still life - wicker and birds)' 1938 - August, 1939

 

Otto Wols (Alfred Otto Wolfgang Schulze) (German, 1913-1951)
Untitled (Still life – wicker and birds)
1938 – August 1939, modern print 1970s
Gelatin silver paper (Agfa paper)
200 x 137 / 239 x 178mm
Cabinet of Prints, Dresden State Art Collections

 

Otto Wols (Alfred Otto Wolfgang Schulze) (German, 1913-1951) 'Untitled (Still life - Grapefruit)' 1938 - August, 1939

 

Otto Wols (Alfred Otto Wolfgang Schulze) (German, 1913-1951)
Untitled (Still life – Grapefruit)
1938 – August 1939, early modern print without year
Gelatin silver paper (Agfa Brovira paper)
174 x 120 / 180 x 131mm
Cabinet of Prints, Dresden State Art Collections

 

Otto Wols (Alfred Otto Wolfgang Schulze) (German, 1913-1951) 'Untitled (The Swiss Pavilion - Drahtfigurine)' 1937

 

Otto Wols (Alfred Otto Wolfgang Schulze) (German, 1913-1951)
Untitled (The Swiss Pavilion – Drahtfigurine)
1937, vintage print 1936-37
Gelatin silver paper (Agfa Brovira paper)
242 x 180mm
Cabinet of Prints Dresden State Art Collections

 

Otto Wols (Alfred Otto Wolfgang Schulze) (German, 1913-1951)  'Untitled (Paris - Eiffel Tower)' 1937

 

Otto Wols (Alfred Otto Wolfgang Schulze) (German, 1913-1951)
Untitled (Paris – Eiffel Tower)
1937, modern printed 1970s
Gelatin silver print
205 x 139 / 240 x 178mm
Cabinet of Prints, Dresden State Art Collections

 

 

On the Occasion of the 100th Birthday of the Epochal Photographer, Painter and Graphic Artist. 
An exhibition by the Kupferstich-Kabinett, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden 
17 May to 26 August 2013

Wols (1913-1951) is a key figure of post-war modernism. However, as this exhibition of his photography demonstrates, there are still aspects of his work which can come as a surprise and which amount to a remarkable discovery. Wols’ Photography: Images Regained, a retrospective marking the centenary of his birth, is the first exhibition to be devoted to a comprehensive exploration of his photographic work. It runs from 17 May to 26 August in the Dresden Kupferstich-Kabinett, and presents around 740 works, including modern prints from original negatives, contact prints and rare vintage prints made by Wols himself. The exhibition and its accompanying catalogue look beyond the myths surrounding Wols to focus on his artistic achievements, providing new insights based on recent art-historical reappraisal of works held in the Dresden collection.

In 1932 the artistically ambitious young nonconformist Wolfgang Schulze, alias Wols, left Dresden for Paris, where in 1951, at the age of 38, he was to die. Paris, at that time the undisputed metropolis of modernity and the avant-garde, held a magical attraction for young artists from all over the world intent on establishing themselves as photographers. In the brief period between 1932 and 1939 Wols created an impressive body of photographic work, a medium that he abandoned after 1945, when his attention turned to drawing and painting; after his death, this important aspect of his oeuvre was largely forgotten.

This presentation of Wols’ photography in the Dresden Kupferstich-Kabinett will later also be shown in Berlin, at the Martin-Gropius-Bau (15 March to 22 June 2014), a venue renowned for important photographic exhibitions, and a further showing in Paris is planned for autumn 2014. This means that this previously little-known, but central, body of work can be explored to an unprecedented extent in places which were of great significance at various stages in the artist’s life. Wols was born in Berlin, and briefly returned there as a young man, drawn to the creative force field of the Bauhaus, by then already in the process of dissolution; it was here that he received what was to be artistically crucial advice to move to Paris. In Dresden, in the intellectual circle of Ida Bienert, he had already become acquainted while still in his teens with facets of international modernism. Paris was where he ultimately achieved artistic fulfilment and recognition.

The exhibition draws on the important resources preserved in the estate of the artist’s sister, Elfriede Schulze-Battmann, now held in the Kupferstich-Kabinett. In addition to correspondence, this archive contains more than 1,000 works, most of which are modern prints made in the 1960s and 1970s, and is the world’s most extensive collection of Wols’ photographic work. The importance of Wols as a major figure of post-war modernism is underlined in two further exhibitions marking the 100th anniversary of his birth:
Kunsthalle Bremen: Wols: Die Retrospektive (Wols. The Retrospective) (13 April – 11 August 2013); 
Museum Wiesbaden: Wols: Das große Mysterium (Wols. The Great Mystery) (17 October 2013 – 26 January 2014).

As a photographer (1913-1951) Wols continues to this day to be a discovery. The young, artistically ambitious, non-conformist left Dresden for Paris in 1932, where he began his artistic career as a portrait photographer. At that time, Paris, undisputedly the metropolis of the avant-garde and modern life, attracted free spirits from all over the world to seek their fortune. From 1932 to 1939 Wols created his impressive photographic oeuvre, which after 1945 he abandoned as a result of adverse circumstances and a shift in his interest to drawing and painting. In the years following his early death, the few preserved photos and negatives were nearly forgotten.

Today the Dresdener Kupferstich-Kabinett (Collection of Prints, Drawings and Photographs) holds the internationally most important collection of his photographic oeuvre, which was preserved in the estate of his sister, Elfriede Schulze-Battmann. It contains rare modern prints, produced from the original negatives in the 1960s and 1970s, and a small number of valuable vintage prints made by Wols himself.

Press release from the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden website

 

Otto Wols (Alfred Otto Wolfgang Schulze) (German, 1913-1951) 'Plate with soup and conch' 1936-1939

 

Otto Wols (Alfred Otto Wolfgang Schulze) (German, 1913-1951)
Plate with soup and conch
1936-1939
© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2009

 

Otto Wols (Alfred Otto Wolfgang Schulze) (German, 1913-1951) 'Doll with Robe' 1937

 

Otto Wols (Alfred Otto Wolfgang Schulze) (German, 1913-1951)
Doll with Robe
1937
From the series of studies Exposition Internationale de Paris. Pavillon de l’Elegance
Gelatin silver print on photo paper
26.3 x 17.8cm

 

Otto Wols (Alfred Otto Wolfgang Schulze) (German, 1913-1951) 'Jean Sendy (Abelson) with monocle' c. 1930

 

Otto Wols (Alfred Otto Wolfgang Schulze) (German, 1913-1951)
Jean Sendy (Abelson) with monocle
c. 1930
Gelatin silver photograph
23.8 x 17.4cm (irreg.)

 

 

Jean Sendy (French, 1910-1978) is a French writer and translator, author of works on esoterica and UFO phenomena. He was also an early proponent of the ancient astronaut hypothesis.

He wrote the 1968 book The moon: The key to the Bible in which he claimed the God mentioned in Genesis of the Bible should be translated in plural as “Gods”, and that the “Gods” were actually space travellers (an alien race of humanoids). Sendy believed that Genesis was factual history of ancient astronauts colonising earth who became “angels in human memory”. The book contains similar ideas to that of the UFO religion Raëlism.

In his 1969 book Those Gods who made Heaven and Earth, Sendy claimed that space travellers 23,500 years ago arrived in the solar system in a large hollow sphere and seeded humanity.

Text from the Wikipedia website

 

Otto Wols (Alfred Otto Wolfgang Schulze) (German, 1913-1951) 'Po Pol' 1935

 

Otto Wols (Alfred Otto Wolfgang Schulze) (German, 1913-1951)
Po Pol
1935
Gelatin silver print on photo paper
23 x 17.2cm

 

Otto Wols (Alfred Otto Wolfgang Schulze) (German, 1913-1951) 'Untitled (Paris - Palisade) Fall 1932 - October 1933 / January 1935 - August 1939' 1930

 

Otto Wols (Alfred Otto Wolfgang Schulze) (German, 1913-1951)
Untitled (Paris – Palisade) Fall 1932 – October 1933 / January 1935 – August 1939
1930, vintage print (Contact), 1930
Gelatin silver print
77 x 46mm
Cabinet of Prints, Dresden State Art Collections

 

Otto Wols (Alfred Otto Wolfgang Schulze) (German, 1913-1951) 'Self Portrait' c. 1932-33

 

Otto Wols (Alfred Otto Wolfgang Schulze) (German, 1913-1951)
Self Portrait
c. 1932-33
© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2013

 

Otto Wols (Alfred Otto Wolfgang Schulze) (German, 1913-1951)  'Self-portrait' 1938

 

Otto Wols (Alfred Otto Wolfgang Schulze) (German, 1913-1951)
Self-portrait
1938

 

 

Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden
Postfach 12 05 51
01006 Dresden
Phone: +49-351-49 14 2643

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Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden 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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