Posts Tagged ‘Jewgeni Chaldej


Exhibition: ‘Eyes Wide Open: 100 Years of Leica Photography’ at Deichtorhallen Hamburg

Exhibition dates: 24th October 2014 – 11th January 2015

Curator: Hans-Michael Koetzle


A photographic revolution. So much more than just photojournalism… and it has a nice sound as well.
“Indiscreet discretion” as the photographer F. C. Gundlach puts it. Some memorable photographs here.


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



Oskar Barnack. 'Wetzlar Eisenmarkt' 1913


Oskar Barnack
Wetzlar Eisenmarkt
© Leica Camera AG


Ernst Leitz. 'New York II' 1914


Ernst Leitz
New York II
© Leica Camera AG

Just a few months before the outbreak of the First World War, Ernst Leitz II travelled to the USA. While there, he was able to capture photos, using a second model of the “Liliput” camera developed by Oskar Barnack, which most certainly would be found in a history of street photography.


Oskar Barnack. 'Flood in Wetzlar' 1920


Oskar Barnack
Flood in Wetzlar
© Leica Camera AG

From around the time of 1914, Oskar Barnack must have carried a prototype camera with him, particularly during his travels – the camera first received the name Leica in 1925. Perhaps his most famous sequence of images, because it has been shown continually since, is the striking series of the floods in Wetzlar, Germany, in 1920


'Ur-Leica' 1914


© Leica Camera AG


Oskar Barnack invents the Ur-Leica

Designed by Oskar Barnack, the first functional prototype of a new camera for 35 mm perforated cinema film stock was completed in March 1914.
The camera consisted of a metal housing, had a retractable lens and a focal plane shutter, which is not overlapped, however. A bolt-on lens cap that was swiveled during film transport, prevented incidental light. For the first time film advance and shutter cocking were connected to a camera – double exposures were excluded. The camera has gone down in the history of photography under the name Ur-Leica.


Ilse Bing. 'Self-portrait in Spiegeln' 1931


Ilse Bing
Self-portrait in Spiegeln
© Leica Camera AG


Anton Stankowski. 'Greeting, Zurich, Rüdenplatz' 1932


Anton Stankowski
Greeting, Zurich, Rüdenplatz
© Stankowski-Stiftung


Henri Cartier-Bresson. 'Behind the Gare Saint-Lazare, Paris' 1932


Henri Cartier-Bresson
Behind the Gare Saint-Lazare, Paris


Alexander Rodchenko. 'Girl with Leica' 1934


Alexander Rodchenko
Girl with Leica

Jewgenija Lemberg, shown here, was a lover of the photographer Alexander Rodchenko for quite some time. In 1992, a print of this photo brought in a tremendous 115,000 British pounds at a Christie’s auction in London. Alexander Rodchenko was continually capturing Jewgenija Lemberg in new, surprising and bold poses – until her death in a train accident. 


Heinrich Heidersberger. 'Laederstraede, Copenhagen' 1935


Heinrich Heidersberger
Laederstraede, Copenhagen
© Institut Heidersberger


Robert Capa. 'Loyalist Militiaman at the Moment of Death, Cerro Muriano, September 5, 1936' 1936


Robert Capa
Loyalist Militiaman at the Moment of Death, Cerro Muriano, September 5, 1936

At the age of 23 and equipped with his Leica, Robert Capa embedded himself in the Spanish Civil War while on assignment for the French press. On 5 September 1936, he managed to capture the perhaps most well-known war photo of the 20th century. 


Henri Cartier-Bresson. 'Sunday on the banks of the River Marne' Juvisy, France 1938


Henri Cartier-Bresson
Sunday on the banks of the River Marne
Juvisy, France 1938

This photo was taken two years after the large-scale strikes that ultimately led to a fundamental improvement in social conditions. Against this backdrop, the picnic in nature is also, above all, a political message – convincing in a formal, aesthetic way, and inherently consistent and suggestive at the same time.


Jewgeni Chaldej. 'The Flag of Victory' 1945


Jewgeni Chaldej
The Flag of Victory
© Collection Ernst Volland and Heinz Krimmer, Leica Camera AG

Although this scene was staged, it loses none of its impact as an image and in no way hampers the resounding global response that it has achieved. The Red Army prevailed – there’s nothing more to convey in such a harmonious picture.


Alfred Eisenstaedt. 'VJ Day, Times Square, NY, 14. August 1945'


Alfred Eisenstaedt
VJ Day, Times Square, NY, 14. August 1945
© Alfred Eisenstaedt, 2014

This photo appeared on the cover of Life magazine and grew to become one of Alfred Eisenstaedt’s most well-known images. “People tell me,” he once said, “that when I am in heaven they will remember this picture.”


W. Eugene Smith. 'Guardia Civil, Spain' 1950


W. Eugene Smith
Guardia Civil, Spain
Gelatin silver print
25.1 x 32.1 cm

W. Eugene Smith’s image of Guardia Civil is also a symbol of an imperious, backward Spain under the rule of Franco. For two months, W. Eugene Smith went scouting for a village and photographed it with the residents’ consent. What he shows us is a strange world: rural, archaic, as if on another planet. 


Inge Morath. 'London' 1950


Inge Morath

Inge Morath’s photo titled “London” is well spotted, clearly composed and yet complicated in its arrangement. It also tells of a structure of domination, of hierarchies and traditions which certainly were more stable in England than in other European countries. 


Franz Hubmann. 'Regular at the Café Hawelka, Vienna' 1956/57


Franz Hubmann
Regular guest at the Café Hawelka, Vienna
© Franz Hubmann. Leica Camera AG

We shall never discover who the man is in this photo. Franz Hubmann, more or less while walking by the table, captured the guest gently balancing a cup with the tips of his fingers – viewed from above without the use of flash, without any hectic movement, and not at all staged.


Frank Horvat. 'Givenchy Hat For Jardin des Modes' 1958


Frank Horvat
Givenchy Hat For Jardin des Modes, Paris
Abzug 1995 / Haus der Photographie / Sammlung F.C. Gundlach Hamburg


F.C. Gundlach. 'Fashion reportage for 'Nino', Port of Hamburg' 1958


F.C. Gundlach
Fashion reportage for ‘Nino’, Port of Hamburg
© F.C. Gundlach


Hans Silvester. 'Steel frame assembly' about the end of the 1950s


Hans Silvester
Steel frame assembly
about the end of the 1950s
Silver gelatin, vintage print
© Hans Silvester / Leica AG




“The exhibition EYES WIDE OPEN: 100 YEARS OF LEICA PHOTOGRAPHY illuminates across fourteen chapters various aspects of recent small-format photography, from journalistic strategies to documentary approaches and free artistic positions, spanning fourteen chapters. Among the artists whose work will be shown are Alexander Rodchenko, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Capa, Christer Strömholm, Robert Frank, Bruce Davidson, William Klein, William Eggleston, René Burri, Thomas Hoepker and Bruce Gilden. Following its premiere in the House of Photography at the Deichtorhallen Hamburg, the exhibition will travel to Frankfurt, Berlin, Vienna and Munich.

Some 500 photographs, supplemented by documentary material, including journals, magazines, books, advertisements, brochures, camera prototypes and films, will recount the history of small-format photography from its beginnings to the present day. The exhibition, which is curated by Hans-Michael Koetzle, follows the course of technological change and photographic history.

According to an entry in the workshop records, by March 1914 at the latest, Oskar Barnack, who worked as an industrial designer at Ernst Leitz in Wetzlar, completed the first functional model of a small-format camera for 35mm cinema film. The introduction of the Leica (a combination of “Leitz” and “Camera”) which was delayed until 1925 due to the war, was not merely the invention of a new camera; the small, reliable and always-ready Leica, equipped with a high-performance lens specially engineered by Max Berek, marked a paradigm shift in photography. Not only did it offer amateur photographers, newcomers and emancipated women greater access to photography; the Leica, which could be easily carried in a coat pocket, also became a ubiquitous part of everyday life. The comparatively affordable small-format camera stimulated photographic experimentation and opened up new perspectives. In general, visual strategies for representing the world became more innovative, bold and dynamic. Without question, the Leica developed by Oskar Barnack and introduced by Ernst Leitz II in 1924 was something like photography’s answer to the phenomenological needs of a new, high-speed era.

The exhibition EYES WIDE OPEN: 100 YEARS OF LEICA PHOTOGRAPHY will attempt for the first time to offer a comprehensive overview of the change in photography brought about by the invention and introduction of the Leica. Rather than isolating the history of the camera or considering it for its own sake, it will examine the visual revolution sparked by the technological innovation of the Leica. The exhibition will take an art- and cultural-historical perspective in pursuit of the question of how the photographic gaze changed as a result of the Leica and the small-format picture, and what effects the miniaturization of photography had on the work of amateurs, artists and photojournalists. Not least, it will also seek to determine what new subjects the camera addressed with its wide range of interchangeable lenses, and how these subjects were seen in a new light: a new way of perceiving the world through the Leica viewfinder.

Among the featured photographers are those who are internationally known for their work with Leica cameras as well as amateurs and artists who have not yet been widely associated with small-format photography, including Ilja Ehrenburg, Alfons Walde, Ben Shahn and George Grosz. Important loans, some of which have never been shown before, come from the factory archives of Leica Camera AG in Wetzlar, international collections and museums, as well as private lenders (Sammlung F. C. Gundlach, Sammlung Skrein, Sammlung WestLicht).”

Press release from the Deichtorhallen Hamburg website



Robert Lebeck. 'The stolen sword, Belgian Congo Leopoldville' 1960


Robert Lebeck
The stolen sword, Belgian Congo Leopoldville
© Robert Lebeck/ Leica Camera AG

When a young Congolese man grabs the king’s sword from the backseat of an open-top car on 29 June 1960, Robert Lebeck manages to capture the image of his life. The photo became a metaphor for the end of the descending dominance by Europeans on the African continent. 


Christer Strömholm. 'Nana, Place Blanche, Paris' 1961


Christer Strömholm
Nana, Place Blanche, Paris
© Christer Strömholm/Strömholm Estate, 2014


Ulrich Mack. 'Wild horses in Kenya' 1964


Ulrich Mack
Wild horses in Kenya
© Ulrich Mack, Hamburg / Leica Camera AG

Ulrich Mack travelled to Africa to discover the continent as a reporter – a continent that had been battered by warmongers and massacres. But all this changed: as if in a state of ecstasy, Ulrich Mack photographed a herd of wild horses, virtually throwing himself down under the animals


Claude Dityvon. "L'homme à la chaise" [The man in the chair], Bd St. Michel, 21 May 1968


Claude Dityvon
“L’homme à la chaise” [The man in the chair], Bd St. Michel, 21 May 1968
© Chris Dityvon, Paris


Fred Herzog. 'Man with Bandage' 1968


Fred Herzog
Man with Bandage
Courtesy of Equinox Gallery, Vancouver
© Fred Herzog, 2014


Lee Friedlander. 'Mount Rushmore, South Dakota' 1969


Lee Friedlander
Mount Rushmore, South Dakota
Haus der Photographie / Sammlung F.C. Gundlach Hamburg


Nick Út: The Associated Press. 'Napalm attack in Vietnam' 1972


Nick Út: The Associated Press
Napalm attack in Vietnam
© Nick Út/AP/ Leica Camera AG


Eliott Erwitt. 'Felix, Gladys and Rover' New York City, 1974


Eliott Erwitt
Felix, Gladys and Rover
New York City, 1974

Elliott Erwitt’s passion focused on dogs – for him, they were the incarnation of human beings, with fur and a tail. His photo titled “New York City” was taken for a shoe manufacturer. 


René Burri. 'San-Cristobál' 1976


René Burri


Martine Franck. 'Swimming pool designed by Alain Capeilières' 1976


Martine Franck
Swimming pool designed by Alain Capeilières


Wilfried Bauer. From the series "Hong Kong", 1985


Wilfried Bauer
From the series Hong Kong
Originally published in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung # 307, 17.01.1986
© Nachlass Wilfried Bauer/Stiftung F.C. Gundlach


Rudi Meisel. 'Leningrad' 1987


Rudi Meisel


Jeff Mermelstein. 'Sidewalk' 1995


Jeff Mermelstein
© Jeff Mermelstein


Michael von Graffenried. From the series 'Night in Paradise', Thielle (Switzerland) 1998


Michael von Graffenried
From the series Night in Paradise, Thielle (Switzerland)
© Michael von Graffenried


Bruce Gilden: 'Untitled', from the series "GO", 2001


Bruce Gilden
Untitled, from the series “GO”
© Bruce Gilden 2014/Magnum Photos

Bruce Gilden is an avid portrait photographer, without his photos ever appearing posed or staged. His image of humanity arises from the flow of life, the hectic everyday goings-on or – like in “Go” – the deep pit of violence, the Mafia and corruption. 


François Fontaine. 'Vertigo' from the 'Silenzio!' series 2012


François Fontaine
Vertigo from the Silenzio! series


Julia Baier. From the series "Geschwebe," 2014


Julia Baier
From the series Geschwebe
© Julia Baier



Deichtorhallen Hamburg
House of Photography
Deichtorstr. 1-2
D – 20095 Hamburg

Opening hours:
Tuesday – Sunday 11 am – 6 pm
Every first Thursday of the month 11 am – 9 pm

Deichtorhallen Hamburg website


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Dr Marcus Bunyan

Dr Marcus Bunyan is an Australian artist and writer. His work explores the boundaries of identity and place. He writes the Art Blart blog which reviews exhibitions in Melbourne, Australia and posts exhibitions from around the world. He has a Dr of Philosophy from RMIT University, Melbourne and is currently studying a Master of Art Curatorship at The University of Melbourne.

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