Posts Tagged ‘Museum Fur Kunst und Gewerbe

26
Jun
11

Exhibition: ‘Series of Portraits. A century of photographs’ at Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg

Exhibition dates: 1st April – 17th July 2011

 

Many thankx to Michaela Hille for her help and to Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg for allowing me to publish the photographs in the posting. Please click on the photographs to view a larger version of the image.

 

 

Nan Goldin. 'All by Myself' 1993-1996 (detail)

 

Nan Goldin (American, b. 1953)
All by Myself (detail)
1993-1996
Project installation with 89 color slides and programmed soundtrack, running time: 5 min. 33 sec
© Nan Goldin/Courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery, New York
Foto: Christoph Irrgang, Hamburg
Hamburger Kunsthalle, Dauerleihgabe F. und W. Stiftung fur zeitgenossische Kunst in der Hamburger Kunsthalle

 

Nan Goldin. 'All by Myself' 1993-1996 (detail)

 

Nan Goldin (American, b. 1953)
All by Myself (detail)
1993-1996
Project installation with 89 colour slides and programmed soundtrack, running time: 5 min. 33 sec
© Nan Goldin/Courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery, New York
Foto: Christoph Irrgang, Hamburg
Hamburger Kunsthalle, Dauerleihgabe F. und W. Stiftung fur zeitgenossische Kunst in der Hamburger Kunsthalle

 

Kyungwoo Chun (Korean, b. 1969) 'Thirty-Minute Dialogue #1' 2000

 

Kyungwoo Chun (Korean, b. 1969)
Thirty-Minute Dialogue #1
2000
Gelatin silver print
40 x 50 cm
© Kyungwoo Chun

 

August Sander. 'Jungbauern, Westerwald, 1914' 1914

 

August Sander (German, 1876-1964)
Jungbauern, Westerwald, 1914
1914, printed 1962
Gelatin silver print
28.5 x 21.9 cm
© Photograph. Samml./SK Stiftung Kultur – A. Sander Archiv, Köln/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2011
Foto: Jorg Arend/Harald Dubau/Maria Thrun, Museum fur Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg
Museum fur Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg

.

August Sander. 'Notar, Köln, 1924' 1924

 

August Sander (German, 1876-1964)
Notar, Köln, 1924
1924, printed 1962
Gelatin silver print
29.1 x 20.5 cm
© Photograph. Samml./SK Stiftung Kultur – A. Sander Archiv, Köln/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2011
Foto: Jorg Arend/Harald Dubau/Maria Thrun, Museum fur Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg
Museum fur Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg

 

August Sander (German, 1876-1964) [Farmer, Westerwald (Bauer, Westerwald)] 1910

 

August Sander (German, 1876-1964)
[Farmer, Westerwald (Bauer, Westerwald)]
1910
Gelatin silver print

 

 

The first section of People of the Twentieth Century is dedicated to the farmer. It begins with a Stammappe, or portfolio of archetypes. Usually three-quarter-length portraits, the photographs depict old farming men, women, and couples seated in their homes or against a natural backdrop. Each is captioned to suggest the fundamental role played by the individual in a balanced society. Sander referred to this farmer as the “earthbound man.” Other archetypes include the “philosopher,” the “fighter or revolutionary,” and the “sage.” All had female counterparts, while couples were labeled as “propriety and harmony.”

Identifying this figure as the “earthbound man,” Sander forged an implicit reference to the soil as a source of livelihood. The farmer’s hands grasp the cane, which keeps him upright and connected to the earth.

Text from the J. Paul Getty Museum website [Online] Cited 04/02/2020

 

Helmar Lerski

 

Helmar Lerski (Swiss, 1871-1956)
Old Working Woman from Germany (left)
1928-31
Gelatin silver print

Helmar Lerski (Swiss, 1871-1956)
Beggar from Saxony (right)
1928-31
Gelatin silver print

 

 

The portraits in Lerski’s Everyday Heads show unemployed workers whom the photographer met at a Berlin job centre where he hired them to sit for him. Old Working Woman from Germany 1928-31 is a close-up shot of a woman’s face, eyes down and mouth shut as though she is quietly contemplating something outside of the picture’s frame (left, above). It is impossible to tell whether this meditative look, a common feature of his portraits, was suggested by Lerski but it is evident that he was in control of nearly every aspect of his pictures. An experienced movie cameraman, he used artificial light reflected by mirrors and screens to give his models an aura and monumentality that people would be familiar with from expressionist feature films. Oblique angles, in line with modernist sensibilities, helped to reinforce the impression of grandeur. He also cropped the images and introduced extra screens so as to eliminate the space around his models heads, and any details from what remained of the background. This also served on occasions to compromise the integrity of the subject’s face though, in other cases, he preferred to blur the contours of the face using strong shadows, as can be seen in Beggar from Saxony 1928-31 (right, above). The results produced a general notion of everyday people rather than an endorsement of individuality as praised in traditional portraiture. Like Sander and Retzlaff, Lerski only gave the individuals’ professions in the captions, and was keen not to exemplify their class affiliation or social rank. The pictures provide no information about either, focusing instead on the face. In this way Lerski enhanced the common human dignity normally ignored in ‘everyday’ faces, and more especially in those humiliated by unemployment during the post-1929 economic crisis.

Wolfgang Brückle. “Face-Off in Weimar Culture: The Physiognomic Paradigm, Competing Portrait Anthologies, and August Sander’s Face of Our Time,” in Tate Papers No.19 Spring 2013 [Online] Cited 04/20/2020

 

Michael Schmidt. From the 81-part series 'Women' 1997-1999

 

Michael Schmidt (German, 1945-2014)
Aus der 81-teiligen serie Frauen
From the 81-part series Women
1997-1999
Gelatin silver print
44.1 x 29.9 cm
© Michael Schmidt
Niedersachsische Sparkassenstiftung, Hannover

 

 

Rineke Dijkstra (Dutch, b. 1959)
Montemor, Portugal, May 1, 1994
1994
C-Print, 35,2 x 27,8 cm
© Rineke Dijkstra
Foto/Photo: Jorg Arend/Harald Dubau/Maria Thrun, Museum fur Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg
Haus der Photographie/Sammlung F. C. Gundlach, Hamburg

 

 

The exhibition comprises 400 exhibits and reflects on important artistic positions in photographic portraiture. During the eventful 20th century portrait photography continually redefines itself, between dissolution of the traditional concept of the subject in the masses and the pursuit of individuality and identity – culturally, socially and in terms of gender. Portraiture is one of the traditional genres in art and was one of the driving forces behind the invention of photography in the 19th century. The image of the human being is subject to constant change, which is also reflected in photography. In postmodern society mass media create ever-changing ideals according to various requirements in tune with a quick succession of trends. Art photography responds to the changes and reflects the development sometimes with spectacular results while it questions the medium of photography itself. The exhibition presents 35 carefully chosen international artists, who through history have opened up a dialogue among themselves; they are referencing each other’s work, and are received and interpreted in ever new contexts. On show are works by Diane Arbus, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Lee Friedlander, Nan Goldin, Roni Horn, Jurgen Klauke, Annie Leibovitz, Helmar Lerski, Irving Penn, Judith Joy Ross, Thomas Ruff, August Sander, Cindy Sherman, Andy Warhol and others. An exhibition in cooperation with the Sammlung Niedersächsische Sparkassenstiftung on the occasion of the 5th Photography Triennial in Hamburg.

“The PORTRAIT-PHOTOGRAPH is a closed field of forces. Four image-repertoires intersect here, oppose and distort each other. In front of the lens, I am at the same time: the one I think I am, the one I want others to think I am, the one the photographer thinks I am, and the one he makes use of to exhibit his art.” (Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida, London, 1984, p. 13). The photographic portrait does indeed combine contrary interests. The relationship between photographer and sitter is crucial. The third factor is the viewer, who is already being considered during the process of photographing. In the knowledge of the particular psychological situation resulting from the presence of a camera, Richard Avedon laconically stated: A photographic portrait is a picture of someone who knows he is being photographed.” The sitters’ reactions to the camera differ, depending on how experienced they are. Fact is: It is not possible to not communicate, as Paul Watzlawick’s research on communication shows. People demean themselves, even if they withdraw or turn away.

The confrontation climaxes in the principle of frontality, which remains valid today although it is constantly being tried and questioned. The project Serial Portraits invites the visitor on a journey through time starting from the beginnings with Hermann Biow’s (1804-1850) daguerreotypes, David Octavius Hill’s (1802-1870) and Robert Adamson’s (1821-1848) talbotypes up to the digital present with Michael Najjar’s (b. 1966) cyborgs, and wondering whether classical portraiture has come to its end.

The beginning includes a model case, where due to the long exposure necessary the models do not live out of the moment but into the moment, as Walter Benjamin said (Little History of Photography, 1931). Thirty-Minute Dialogue by Kyungwoo Chun (b. 1969) from 2000 is examining the synthesis of expression, which is necessitated by the models’ keeping still for so long. An exposure time of half an hour allows the work to penetrate the depths of the pictorial space.

The creativity of the 1920s and the New Vision inspires a “visual vocabulary” appropriate for modernity. Its different forms can be seen in the individual responses of photographers such as August Sander (1876-1964). Being a typical studio photographer, he works on a typology of “man of the 20th century”, beginning with the agricultural type, his Stammappe (engl.: Germinal Portfolio) being a memorial to the latter. Helmar Lerski (1871-1956) takes a different stance; having originally worked in film, he is photographing his Everyday Heads in extreme close-ups. Making use of effective lighting in his studio, he invites unknown sitters from the street and fashions characteristic heads.

Sander’s oeuvre represents a turning point for comparative vision as a genuine principle in series. Considering photography of the 1920s and questioning the photographer’s position as well as the medium itself, author-photography in the 1970s is developing a new idea of documentary. Thomas Ruff (b. 1958) is testing the limits, when he presupposes that photography can merely reflect the surface of things. Bernhard Fuchs is adding a personal touch when he is seeking out the places of his own past. The great portrait photographer Irving Penn is cornering his celebrities in a corner of his studio and allows them to find their place, according to their inclinations and abilities to self-represent.

Diane Arbus (1923-1971) is holding a one-sided dialog, certainly not giving equal weight to the photographer’s interests and that of her models. While the frontality signals the conventionally due deference, the complex composition of her pictures is dominated by the superior gaze directed at the supposedly others, the freaks of bourgeois society. Until now Arbus is misinterpreted as a documentary photographer. It is being ignored that photography inevitably presents a specific view of reality and that the viewer’s position has been carefully constructed within the picture.

Only pictures that have been taken without the awareness of those represented document a found situation at the same time as they present a monologue. Heinrich Riebesehl (1938-2010) chose this method for his series Menschen im Fahrstuhl (engl.: People in an Elevator), which he completed in just one day. In a moment of pause people can reflect and are not forced to react to being observed. In his pictures the photographer respects their individuality without judging social differences.

Examples for comparability as principle in a series can be found early on. Hermann Biow’s (1804-1850) daguerreotypes as unique copies of the members of parliament in the Paulskirche in Frankfurt from 1848/1849 were later reproduced as lithographs and distributed in portfolios. These politicians were the direct successors to the galleries of ancestral portraits in stately homes, whereby the new medium was democratic. Rudolph Duhrkoop’s Hamburgische Männer und Frauen amAnfang des XX. Jahrhunderts (engl.: Men and Women of Hamburg in the Early XXth Century) represent the citizens in this tradition.

Since 1975 Nicholas Nixon (b. 1974) is extending the series The Brown Sisters every year. His study is observing changes, while Hans-Peter Feldmann (b. 1941) is representing a century through 101 average people in his sequence 100 Jahre (engl.: 100 Years). It is fascinating, how the uniqueness of each person even if they remain anonymous is transported in the photographic portrait. Judith Joy Ross’ (b. 1946) series Protesting the U. S. War in Iraq documents a seriousness in the sitters’ faces, the political dimension of which can only be fully grasped with the information on the context. As with every photograph the title or accompanying text is part of the message.

Press release from the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg website

 

Michael Najjar (German, b. 1966) 'Stephan_2.0' from the 'nexus project part I' 1999

 

Michael Najjar (German, b. 1966)
Stephan_2.0 from the nexus project part I
1999
Hybrid photography, archival pigment print, aludibond, diasec
140 x 100 cm / 56 x 40 in, edition of 6

 

 

Nexus Project

The series “nexus project part I” investigates the implications of the future enhancement of the human brain with miniaturised computer chips, infiltrated in the neuronal structures of the human organism.

Such a development will give birth to a new form of life – the cyborg, a hybrid compound of human and machine. A new set of questions are raised concerning issues of difference and identification between biologically correct beings and technically or genetically enhanced humans.

This development brings with it a host of new concerns: What impact will neuro-implants have on human consciousness? How will society cope with this kind of being, and what implications will they have for our social and cultural interaction?

“nexus project part I” consists of eight photographic portraits. These have undergone a digital modification of the iris, which gives the portrait faces an intimidating, almost inhuman look whilst at the same time it exerts a strong direct fascination on the viewer.

The highly charged poles of tensions and cross-tensions between fascination and intimidation also shape the para-meters in which the future development of human being to hybrid organism will take place.

Text from the Michael Najjar website [Online] Cited 04/02/2020

 

Heinrich Riebesehl (German, 1938-2010) 'Menschen im Fahrstuhl (People in the elevator)' 1969

 

Heinrich Riebesehl (German, 1938-2010)
Menschen im Fahrstuhl (People in the elevator)
1969
Gelatin silver print

 

Heinrich Riebesehl (German, 1938-2010) 'Menschen im Fahrstuhl (People in the elevator)' 1969

 

Heinrich Riebesehl (German, 1938-2010)
Menschen im Fahrstuhl (People in the elevator)
1969
Gelatin silver print

 

Andy Warhol. 'Self-Portrait in Drag (Platinum Pageboy Wig)' 1981

 

Andy Warhol (American, 1928-1987)
Self-Portrait in Drag (Platinum Pageboy Wig)
1981
Foto: Christoph Irrgang, Hamburg
© 2011 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc./Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Hamburger Kunsthalle

 

Andy Warhol. 'Self-Portrait in Drag (Long Reddish-Brown Wig and Plaid Tie)' 1981/82

 

Andy Warhol (American, 1928-1987)
Self-Portrait in Drag (Long Reddish-Brown Wig and Plaid Tie)
1981/82
Foto: Christoph Irrgang, Hamburg
© 2011 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Hamburger Kunsthalle

 

Andy Warhol. 'Self-Portrait in Drag' 1981

 

Andy Warhol (American, 1928-1987)
Self-Portrait in Drag
1981
Foto: Christoph Irrgang, Hamburg
© 2011 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc./Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Hamburger Kunsthalle

 

Roni Horn. 'Portrait of an Image (with Isabelle Huppert)' 2005

 

Roni Horn (American, b. 1955)
Portrait of an Image (with Isabelle Huppert)
2005
50 Fotografien (Version 1)
Color Print, je 38,1 x 31,8 cm
© Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth

 

Roni Horn. 'Portrait of an Image (with Isabelle Huppert)' 2005

 

Roni Horn (American, b. 1955)
Portrait of an Image (with Isabelle Huppert)
2005
50 Fotografien (Version 1)
Color Print, je 38,1 x 31,8 cm
© Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth

 

Judith Joy Ross (American, b. 1946) 'Jane C. Keller, Protesting the U.S. War in Iraq, Williamsport, Pennsylvania' from the series 'Protest the War' 2006

 

Judith Joy Ross (American, b. 1946)
Jane C. Keller, Protesting the U.S. War in Iraq, Williamsport, Pennsylvania, from the series Protest the War
2006
Gelatin silver print

 

Judith Joy Ross (American, b. 1946) 'Lynn Estomin, Protesting the U.S. War in Iraq, Williamsport, Pennsylvania' from the series 'Protest the War' 2006

 

Judith Joy Ross (American, b. 1946)
Lynn Estomin, Protesting the U.S. War in Iraq, Williamsport, Pennsylvania, from the series Protest the War
2006
Gelatin silver print

 

Nicholas Nixon. 'The Brown Sisters, East Greenwich, R.I.' 1980

 

Nicholas Nixon (American, b. 1947)
The Brown Sisters, East Greenwich, R.I.
1980
Gelatin silver print

 

Nicholas Nixon. 'The Brown Sisters, Boston' 2012

 

Nicholas Nixon (American, b. 1947)
The Brown Sisters, Boston
2012
Gelatin silver print

 

Hermann Biow (German, 1804-1850) 'Heinrich Jakob Venedey' 1848

 

Hermann Biow (German, 1804-1850)
Heinrich Jakob Venedey
1848
Daguerreotype
20.8 x 15.4 cm
Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg

 

 

Hermann Biow was an important German daguerreotypist in the early days of photography. Biow became known through his portrait photography during his lifetime. He portrayed politicians, celebrities and wealthy citizens, including Franz Liszt, Alexander von Humboldt and Friedrich Wilhelm IV. He is also known for his parliamentarian portraits of the first German National Assembly in the Paulskirche in Frankfurt in 1848/49. Today Biow is primarily seen as the founder of German documentary photography.

A daguerreotype of Heinrich Jakob Venedey from 1848 made by Hermann Biow in Frankfurt. Venedey (1805-1871) was a member of the German National Assembly in Frankfurt’s Paulskirche in 1848/49 as a deputy for Hessen-Homburg. The lawyer belonged to the factions Deutscher Hof and Westendhall of the National Assembly. (Text translated from the German Wikipedia)

 

Hermann Biow (German, 1804-1850) 'Heinrich Joseph Gerhard Compes' 1848

 

Hermann Biow (German, 1804-1850)
Heinrich Joseph Gerhard Compes
1848
Daguerreotype
20.4 x 14.8 cm
Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg

 

 

A daguerreotype of Heinrich Joseph Gerhard Compes (that’s Gerhard Compes) from 1848 by Hermann Biow in Frankfurt. Compes was a member of the German National Assembly in Frankfurt’s Paulskirche in 1848/49 as a deputy for the 19th province of Rhineland (Siegburg). The Cologne lawyer belonged to the Württemberger Hof faction of the National Assembly. (Text translated from the German Wikipedia)

 

Thomas Ruff (b. 1958) 'Portrait (C. Bernhard)' 1985

 

Thomas Ruff (German, b. 1958)
Portrait (C. Bernhard)
1985
Color Print, 24 x 18 cm
© Thomas Ruff/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2011
Niedersachsische Sparkassenstiftung, Hannover

 

Thomas Ruff (b. 1958) 'Portrait (T. Ruff)' 1983

 

Thomas Ruff (German, b. 1958)
Portrait (T. Ruff)
1983
Color Print, 24 x 18 cm
Thomas Ruff/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2011
Niedersachsische Sparkassenstiftung, Hannover

 

 

Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg
Steintorplatz, 20099 Hamburg

Opening hours:
Tuesday – Sunday 10 am – 6 pm
Thursday until 9 pm

Museum fur Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg website

LIKE ART BLART ON FACEBOOK

Back to top

10
Mar
11

Exhibition: ‘Ideen sitzen. 50 Years of Chair Design’ at Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg

Exhibition dates: 29th September 2010 – 13th March 2011

 

Frank Gehry. 'Wiggle Side Chair' 1972

 

Frank Gehry (American, b. 1929)
Wiggle Side Chair
Los Angeles/Cal., U.S.A., 1972
Easy Edges Inc., New York, U.S.A., 1972
84 x 37 x 59 cm
Cardboard, hard fiber board
Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg
Photo: Jörg Arend/Maria Thrun

 

 

I love chairs! There are such fabulous designs throughout the centuries. Once seen as the symbol of ultimate power (only the king and queen could be seated) our favourite chair now occupies the place of form fitting sculpture, the place where we feel most comfortable. Most of these works are not of that mould but they are a tour de force of the designers art and a testament to the mutability of the form, chair.

Marcus

.
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.

 

Joe Colombo. 'Elda' Italy, 1963

 

Joe Colombo (Italian, 1930-1971)
Elda
Italy, 1963
Comfort, Meda/Mailand, Italy, 1963
92.5 x 95 x 96 cm
Polyester, reinforced glass-fiber
Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg
Photo: Jörg Arend/Maria Thrun

 

Patrick Jouin. 'C2 Solid Chair' Paris, 2008

 

Patrick Jouin (French, b. 1967)
C2 Solid Chair
Paris, 2008
Paris, Frankreich, 2008
78.5 x 40.4 x 54 cm
Plastic (formed with technology of the Stereolithographie/Rapidly Prototyping manufacture)
Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg
Photo: Jörg Arend/Maria Thrun

 

Joris Laarman. 'Bone Chair' Utrecht, 2006

 

Joris Laarman (Netherlands, b. 1979)
Bone Chair
Utrecht, 2006
77 x 45 x 76 cm
Aluminium (poured and polished)
Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg
Photo: Jörg Arend/Maria Thrun

 

 

With Ideen sitzen. 50 Years of Chair Design the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe is presenting the first large exhibition on recent seat design dating from 1960 to the present day. One hundred exceptional exhibits selected from the high-calibre collection held by the MKG, among them chairs, arm chairs, chaise longues and stools, offer an insight into the most diverse approaches and motivations of design during five eventful decades. The focus lies on the chair as contemporary witness be it as expression of a utopian idea or instrument in political protest, a reaction to ecological changes or a calculated business idea, an experiment with the most recent technologies or a sculptural art object, where the chair – divorced from its function – can only just be recognised as the source of inspiration. Chairs are regarded as the business card of any designer. They are visually more attractive than tables, wardrobes, settees or kitchen furniture and exemplify the increasingly blurry demarcation between art and design.

Designing a chair forms part of the great challenge of any designer. In modernity it seemed to have found its perfect answer in Michael Thonet’s Coffee House Chair Model No. 14, made in the revolutionary bentwood technique. Today, 150 years on, a multitude of new chair designs are demonstrating artistic, technical and social changes. No other object juxtaposes the conflicting interests of design as directly: appropriate functionality versus the free reign of fantasy and autonomous artistic form. A new idea lies at the core of any new seating furniture, which will then be moulded by factors such as use, the market, the target group, the company’s philosophy, materials, production methods, technological progress and not least the designers interests, depending on whether he or she is an artist, sculptor, director, architect or simply a product designer. The expression “same, same – but different” is particularly valid when it comes to chairs: an intellectual and a practical product, which is manifest in hundreds of forms. The exhibition Ideen sitzen. 50 Years of Chair Design therefore becomes a reflection of time and its self-concept, its necessities and the longing for freedom of artistic expression.

A design exhibition turns into an art exhibition once it presents autonomous sculpture. The chair freed from its functional requirements becomes a source of information only. The MKG’s most recent acquisitions illustrate this phenomenon of contemporary chair design and demonstrate the increasingly blurred demarcation of art and design. Some of them are design classics: the famous spherical Sunball lounge chair by Günter Fedinand Ris, the Well Tempered Chair by Ron Arad, chairs by Stefan Wewerka and Alessandro Mendini’s Proust Armchair – the latter combining baroque opulence of Louis XV style with an impressionist colour scheme referencing Marcel Proust’s time. The design positions represented in the collection are expanded by Joris Laarman’s Bone Chair, which was inspired by the natural growth of bone. Vladi Rapaport turned an oversized skull and an oversized brain into seats called The skull chair and The brain footstool respectively. Tord Boontje created the bench Petit Jardin where a tender web of leaves, flowers and twigs made of white coated laser cut steel is embracing the sitter. For Veryround Louise Campbell interlinked 240 steel circles to form an ornamental seat sculpture.

Putting the various ideas and trends in design into their historical context, highlights how directly it is informed by social and economic trends. At the beginning of the 20th Century chair design was dictated by social factors and functionality: good quality seats had to be produced at low cost for the masses. New materials such as steel tube and multiplex warranted new production techniques. The introduction of injection-moulding for plastic chairs in the early 1960s revolutionised ideas yet again. The 1960s are determined by the new prosperity after the war, but also by burgeoning social unrest. The exhibition presents some increasingly unconventional types of armchair, which reflect the tensions of the period. Gaetano Pesce’s Donna, 1969 is both: a comfortable armchair and a biting political criticism of women’s role in modern society. The prospect of growing markets led the chemical and furniture industry to invest in the production of plastic chairs, a development, which found its preliminary end in the oil crisis of 1973.

The 1970s produced relatively few sweeping designs; the decade is characterised by the criticism of capitalism, consumerism and a heightened sense of uncertainty in manufacturing. Stefan Wewerka created an icon of instability when he came up with “Classroom Chair”; the tried and trusted breaks away, dissolves. The American architect Frank Gehry on the other hand developed new chairs from corrugated cardboard, constructing and glueing the layers so they withhold the greatest pressure; his Wiggle Side Chair is a trendsetting seat constructed with minimal material investment and an original design idea. Towards the end of the century Alessandro Mendini created its antithesis when he combined a neo-baroque silhouette with light colours quoting Impressionism – Proust‘s purpose is the quotation of historic style, which makes it one of the early classics of postmodernism. The architectural and design-movement deliberately cited traditional style elements to reinterpret or pass ironic comment on their meaning. Architecture and interior design were turned into an intellectual game.

Around 1980 the postmodernist approach set off the Italian artists group Memphis led by Ettore Sottsass and Michele de Lucchi. Sottsass turned to the past and to architectural evidence of the world’s cultural heritage. He achieved new singular pieces of furniture inspired by sculpture and architecture – colourful monuments that for a few years were recognised as style icons. Memphis introduced fun and joy into the hitherto predominantly grey and brown furniture scene. Their products offer entertainment value. They are evocative of ideas, full of allusions to earlier cultures, hip, they cherish masquerade and express a way of thinking clearly opposed to industrialism and market strategies. Memphis’ furniture is simply made, using MDF laminated in bright colours. It is to Sottsass’ credit, that against the Zeitgeist Memphis made use of ornament.

While the group’s unique furnishing objects created a lust for new furniture, designers in Germany, England, Japan or Switzerland who followed contemporary product design conceived chairs from metal – tubular steel, steel panel or metal mesh. Intellectually these designers are followers of the Bauhaus creations from the 1920s and 1930s and their proposals are accordingly ambitious. Apart from Northern Italy Paris with Philippe Starck and Barcelona established themselves as the new centres of design. Starck designed numerous new models of chairs from various materials – metal, wood and plastic – within only a few years. His philosophy is to offer to the market ideas that are as innovative as possible while being fairly priced. He formed the counterpart to a fad from the 1980s, where design objects were produced in limited editions and offered to an exclusive clientele. Artists such as Donald Judd, Franz West and Bob Wilson were designing chairs and fittingly documenta in 1989 had a focus on design.

The 1990s return to a design ethos bethinking simplicity and rediscovering natural wood. Pale woods and a concise and rational tenor respond to the demand for clear shapes with a warm and natural character. Numerous designers, including Jasper Morrison or Axel Kufus, turn against the euphoria and affluence of the fin de siècle. Rifts within the structure of society are addressed by works such as Tejo Remy’s Rug Chair made of leftover shred reinforced by a carbon core and s of fabric. In Brazil the Campana brothers conceive an armchair from waste wood of the slums called Favela. The seat is pointing at the destitution of the residents of the slums as well as the creative possibilities inherent in poor materials. Equally Marcel Wanders’ Knotted Chair makes use of the simplest rope; its carbon core and hardened epoxy fix the knotted structure in the shape of a chair giving the illusion of the sitter being suspended on a soft hanging structure.

In the first decade of the 21st century designers like Konstantin Grcic or the Bouroullec Brothers continued to work on intelligent solutions for large social groups. At the same time young designers such as the Dutchman Joris Laarman or the Frenchman Patrick Jouin employ digital methods of design, which allow them to calculate new ways of construction. They also make use of Rapid Prototyping. Their objects are highly experimental and seem to offer a glimpse of the world of tomorrow. Other designers like Tord Boontje work with laser cut metal sheet to create ornamental compositions. Most designs by the younger scene are produced in small numbers and are distributed largely by design galleries. The seating furniture of a new era is taking up the elitist impulse of the 1980s – produced in highly limited numbers they are treated as unique art works. Museums who manage to acquire such pieces directly from the artists are thus in a position to present models that are wholly fresh to the eye and provoke spontaneous responses.

As one of the leading museums of its kind in Germany the MKG holds an extensive collection on the history of modern design. The collection of seating furniture is at its core and comprises hundreds of examples of the history of modern design of all periods from leading countries in Europe, Australia, the USA, Brazil and Japan. William Morris, Peter Behrens, Henry van de Velde, Le Corbusier, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Alvar Aalto, Eero Saarinen, Charles Eames, Verner Panton, Joe Colombo, Stefan Wewerka, Frank Gehry, Alessandro Mendini, Ettore Sottsass, Michele De Lucchi, Philippe Starck, Shiro Kuramata, Ron Arad, Marc Newson, Jasper Morrison, Tom Dixon, Konstantin Grcic and many more designers are represented in the collection.

Designers and artists: Eero Aarnio, Ron Arad, Archizoom, Teppo Asikainen, Gijs Bakker, Helmut Bätzner, Mario Bellini, Günter Beltzig, Ricardo Blumer, Matteo Borghi, Tord Boontje, Mario Botta, Andrea Branzi, Fernando and Humberto Campana, Louise Campbell, Joe Cesare Colombo, Paolo Deganello, Tom Dixon, Uwe Fischer, Formfürsorge, Piero Gatti, Frank Gehry, Ginbande Design, Konstantin Grcic, Gruppo Strum, Klaus Achim Heine, Patrick Jouin, Donald Judd, Toshiyuki Kita, Poul Kjaerholm, Gunter König, Axel Kufus, Shiro Kuramata, Angela Kurrer, Joris Laarman, Paolo Lomazzi, Ross Lovegrove, Michele de Lucchi, Vico Magistretti, Peter Maly, Enzo Mari, Javier Mariscal, Alessandro Mendini, Jasper Morrison, Marc Newson, Katsuhito Nishikawa, Verner Panton, Cesare Paolini, Jonathan de Pas, Pierre Paulin, Maurizio Peregalli, Gaetano Pesce, Giancarlo Piretti, Tom Price, Dieter Rams, Bernard Rancillac, Vladi Rapaport, Karim Rashid, Tejo Remy, Günter Ferdinand Ris, Herbert Selldorf, Hubert Matthias Sanktjohanser, Peter Schmitz, Stiletto, Ettore Sottsass, Philippe Starck, Studio 65, Roger Tallon, Donato d’Urbino, Marcel Wanders, Franz West, Stefan Wewerka, Robert Wilson, Tokujin Yoshioka and others.”

Press release from Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg

 

Alessandro Mendini. 'Poltrona di Proust' Studio Alchimia, Mailand, 1978

 

Alessandro Mendini (Italian, 1931-2019)
Poltrona di Proust (Proust Armchair)
Studio Alchimia, Mailand, 1978
107 x 93 x 90 cm
Wood, Leinenbezug (painted)
Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg
Photo: Jörg Arend/Maria Thrun

 

Ricado Blumer and Matteo Borghi. 'Origami' Casciago, 2007

 

Ricado Blumer (Italian, b. 1959) and Matteo Borghi (Italian, b. 1976)
Origami
Casciago, 2007
Ycami, Novedrate, 2007
76 x 61 x 63 cm
Aluminium
Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg
Photo: Jörg Arend/Maria Thrun

 

Stefan Wewerka. 'Classroom Chair' Berlin, 1970

 

Stefan Wewerka (German, 1928-2013)
Classroom Chair
Berlin, 1970
70 x 68 x 40 cm
Wood (painted)
Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg, © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2010
Photo: Jörg Arend/Maria Thrun

 

Tokujin Yoshioka (Japanese, b. 1967) 'Honey-Pop Armchair' Tokyo, Japan, 2000

 

Tokujin Yoshioka (Japanese, b. 1967)
Honey-Pop Armchair
Tokyo, Japan, 2000
83 x 81 x 81 cm
Greaseproof paper (folded into form)
Justus Brinckmann Society
Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg
Photo: Jörg Arend/Maria Thrun

 

 

Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg
Steintorplatz, 20099 Hamburg

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

Museum fur Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg website

LIKE ART BLART ON FACEBOOK

Back to top

17
Apr
10

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.

Marcus

 

 

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
1963
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
1935
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
1976
Gelatin silver print
32.6 x 22 cm
André Gelpke and Münchner Stadtmuseum

 

Norbert Przybilla (1953-1996) 'Franz' 1986

 

Norbert Przybilla (1953-1996)
Franz
1986
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
1962
C-print
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

LIKE ART BLART ON FACEBOOK

Back to top




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: ‘Dogs, chickens, cattle’ 1994-95

If you would like to unsubscribe from the email list please email me at bunyanth@netspace.net.au and I will remove you asap. Thank you.

Join 2,689 other followers

If you would like to unsubscribe from the email list please email Marcus at bunyanth@netspace.net.au and I will remove you asap. Thank you.

Follow Art_Blart on Twitter
Art Blart on Pinterest

Recent Posts

Lastest tweets

November 2020
M T W T F S S
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30  

Archives

Categories