subjektive fotografie 2

More Adventures in the Visual Field

EXHIBITION Feb 2 — Apr 24, 2014

OTTO STEINERT (1915–1978)

Grand Palais 2, 1955

gelatin silver bromide negative print, printed ca. 1955

37 x 29,7 cm

© Nachlass Otto Steinert; Fotografische Sammlung, Museum Folkwang, Essen / Courtesy Kicken Berlin

AARON SISKIND (1903–1991)

'Chigago 30, 1950' from the Portfolio "Aaron Siskind: 75th Anniversary Portfolio, 1936-76

12 gelatin silver prints, published by Light Gallery, New York in 1979

6 plates ca. 35 x 45 cm, 6 plates ca. 29 x 24 cm

© Aaron Siskind Foundation / Courtesy Kicken Berlin

KAORU OHTO (*1929)

Untitled (Door), 1950s

gelatin silver print, printed 1950s

17,1 x 12,3 cm

© Kaoru Ohto / Courtesy Kicken Berlin

SIEGFRIED LAUTERWASSER (1913–2000)

Schwingende Grauflächen / Swinging Grey Surfaces, 1949

gelatin silver print, printed ca. 1949

40,1 x 30,4 cm

© Siegfried Lauterwasser und Foto Lauterwasser / Courtesy Kicken Berlin

WERNER BISCHOF (1916–1954)

Untitled (Abstraction), 1946

gelatin silver print, printed ca. 1946

18 x 23,8 cm

© 2014 Werner Bischof Estate / Courtesy Kicken Berlin

GERALDO DE BARROS (1923–1998)

Untitled, from the series 'Fotoform', 1950

gelatin silver print of a photogram, printed between 1973 and 1978

30 x 39,9 cm

© Fabiana de Barros / Courtesy Kicken Berlin

TONI SCHNEIDERS (1920–2006)

Unheimliches Nest, 1949

gelatin silver print, printed ca. 1949

55,4 x 45,1 cm

© Estate of the Artist / Courtesy Kicken Berlin

TONI SCHNEIDERS (1920–2006)

Wassertropfen, 1960

gelatin silver print, printed ca. 1960

39,7 x 30,3 cm

© Estate of the Artist / Courtesy Kicken Berlin

AARON SISKIND (1903–1991)

Chicago, 1948

gelatin silver print, printed ca. 1956

42 x 29 cm

© Aaron Siskind Foundation / Courtesy Kicken Berlin

KAORU OHTO (*1929)

Untitled (Light Bulb), 1950s

gelatin silver print, printed 1950s

17,1 x 12,3 cm

© Kaoru Ohto / Courtesy Kicken Berlin

WERNER BISCHOF (1916–1954)

Untitled (Abstraction), 1946

gelatin silver print, printed ca. 1946

18,1 x 28,8 cm

© 2014 Werner Bischof Estate / Courtesy Kicken Berlin

PIM VAN OS (1910–1954)

Abstraction (Photogram), ca. 1950

gelatin silver print, printed ca. 1950

29,9 x 23,9 cm

© Estate of the Artist / Courtesy Kicken Berlin

OTTO STEINERT (1915–1978)

Scherbentanz / Dance of broken fragments, 1948

gelatin silver print of a photogram, printed ca. 1948

40 x 30,2 cm

© Nachlass Otto Steinert; Fotografische Sammlung, Museum Folkwang, Essen / Courtesy Kicken Berlin

FERENC BERKÓ (1916–2000)

Fire Escape, Chicago, 1947

early gelatin silver print

23,4 x 19,6 cm

© Estate of Ferenc Berko / Courtesy Kicken Berlin

CHRISTER STRÖMHOLM (1918–2002)

Untitled (Handrail), ca. 1950

unique gelatin silver print, printed ca. 1950

13,8 x 21,3 cm

© Estate of the Artist / Courtesy Kicken Berlin

OTTO STEINERT (1915–1978)

Punkte und Linien, 1953

gelatin silver print, mounted to cardboard, printed ca. 1953

29,8 x 39,4 cm

© Nachlass Otto Steinert; Fotografische Sammlung, Museum Folkwang, Essen / Courtesy Kicken Berlin

JOSÉ COSTA (dates of birth and death unknown)

Untitled (Lines), 1956-60

gelatin silver print, printed ca. 1956-60

23,6 x 29,6 cm

© Estate of the Artist / Courtesy Kicken Berlin

CHRISTER STRÖMHOLM (1918–2002)

Switzerland, ca. 1950

unique gelatin silver print, printed ca. 1950

12,1 x 17 cm

© Estate of the Artist / Courtesy Kicken Berlin

KIYOSHI NIIYAMA (1911–1968)

Untitled (Power Lines), 1959

gelatin silver print, printed 1959-1960s

20,2 x 30,3 cm

© Estate of the Artist / Courtesy Kicken Berlin

LUDWIG WINDSTOSSER (1921–1983)

Warnlicht / Warning light, 1950s

gelatin silver print, printed ca. 1950s

17,2 x 23 cm

© Estate of the Artist / Courtesy Kicken Berlin

SIEGFRIED LAUTERWASSER (1913–2000)

Wasser, ca. 1948

gelatin silver print, printed ca. 1948

39 x 29,1 cm

© Siegfried Lauterwasser und Foto Lauterwasser / Courtesy Kicken Berlin

OTTO STEINERT (1915–1978)

Spuren auf Schwarz / Traces on black, 1954

gelatin silver print, mounted on original cardboard, printed ca. 1954

29,3 x 39 cm

© Nachlass Otto Steinert; Fotografische Sammlung, Museum Folkwang, Essen / Courtesy Kicken Berlin

RODOLFO OSTERMANN (1902–unknown)

Untitled (Fence), 1956-60

gelatin silver negative print, printed ca. 1956-60

29,6 x 23,5 cm

© Estate of the Artist / Courtesy Kicken Berlin

HARRY CALLAHAN (1912–1999)

Camera Movement on Flashlight, 1946-47

gelatin silver print, mounted to board, printed ca. 1946-47

11,4 x 8,2 cm

© The Estate of Harry Callahan / Courtesy Kicken Berlin

WERNER BISCHOF (1916–1954)

Untitled (Light Study), 1946

gelatin silver print, mounted to cardboard, printed ca. 1946

18 x 24,1 cm

© 2014 Werner Bischof Estate / Courtesy Kicken Berlin

TAKASHI KIJIIMA (1920–2011)

Untitled, from the series 'Yawata', 1958

gelatin silver negative print, printed ca. 1958

41 x 31,2 cm

© Estate of the Artist / Courtesy Kicken Berlin

HARRY CALLAHAN (1912–1999)

Camera Movement on Coal, 1946-47

gelatin silver print, mounted, printed ca. 1946-47

5,7 x 5,5 cm

© The Estate of Harry Callahan / Courtesy Kicken Berlin

PETER KEETMAN (1916–2005)

Sand, der auf eine Glassplatte fällt, 1960

gelatin silver print, printed ca. 1960

29 x 23,2 cm

© The Estate of Peter Keetman; F.C. Gundlach Foundation / Courtesy Kicken Berlin

HARRY CALLAHAN (1912–1999)

Camera Movement on Trees, Chicago, 1946-47

gelatin silver print, mounted to board, printed ca. 1946-47

13,2 x 12,3 cm

© The Estate of Harry Callahan / Courtesy Kicken Berlin

CHRISTER STRÖMHOLM (1918–2002)

Untitled (Wood), ca. 1950

gelatin silver print, printed ca. 1950

12,5 x 16,8 cm

© Estate of the Artist / Courtesy Kicken Berlin

SAMEER MAKARIUS (1924–2009)

Untitled, from the series 'Temas biblicos', 1961

gelatin silver print, printed ca. 1961

23,7 x 29,7 cm

© Sameer Makarius; makarius 2012 / Courtesy Kicken Berlin

GASPAR GASPARIAN (1899–1966)

Abstrata, 1953

gelatin silver print, printed ca. 1953

38,8 x 25,3 cm

© Gaspar Gasparian Estate / Courtesy Kicken Berlin

JOSÉ COSTA (dates of birth and death unknown)

Untitled (Billboards), 1956-60

gelatin silver print, printed ca. 1956-60

23,6 x 29,4 cm

© Estate of the Artist / Courtesy Kicken Berlin

THOMAZ FARKAS (1924–2011)

Decorativa, ca. 1950

gelatin silver print, printed ca. 1950

31,3 x 29,4 cm

© Acervo Thomaz Farkas IMS; Courtesy Family Collection / Courtesy Kicken Berlin

PETER KEETMAN (1916–2005)

VW-Werk / VW-plant, 1953

2 gelatin silver prints, printed later

ca. 39,7 x 30,5 cm (each)

© The Estate of Peter Keetman; F.C. Gundlach Foundation / Courtesy Kicken Berlin

SIEGFRIED LAUTERWASSER (1913-2000)

Fischernetze, 1950

gelatin silver print, printed ca. 1950

23,5 x 17,7 cm

WERNER BISCHOF (1916–1954)

Untitled (Abstraction), 1946

gelatin silver print, printed ca. 1946

18,2 x 23,8 cm

© 2014 Werner Bischof Estate / Courtesy Kicken Berlin

KAORU OHTO (*1929)

Untitled (Dried Fish), 1950s

gelatin silver print, printed 1950s

12,3 x 17 cm

© Kaoru Ohto / Courtesy Kicken Berlin

THOMAZ FARKAS (1924–2011)

Cachoeira I / Wasserfall I, ca. 1949

gelatin silver print, printed ca. 1949

28,8 x 40 cm

© Acervo Thomaz Farkas IMS; Courtesy Family Collection / Courtesy Kicken Berlin

PETER KEETMAN (1916–2005)

VW-Werk, vordere Abschluß-Bleche / VW-factory, front cover plates, 1953

gelatin silver print, printed later

36 x 30,4 cm

© The Estate of Peter Keetman; F.C. Gundlach Foundation / Courtesy Kicken Berlin

TONI SCHNEIDERS (1920–2006)

Gräser im Fluss, 1974

gelatin silver print, printed ca. 1974-1978

25,8 x 35 cm

© Estate of the Artist / Courtesy Kicken Berlin

MARCEL GIRÒ (1913–2011)

Untitled (Grasses in the Water), ca. 1950

gelatin silver print, printed ca. 1950

30,4 x 40 cm

© Estate of the Artist / Courtesy Kicken Berlin

OTTO STEINERT (1915–1978)

La Comtesse de Fleury, 1952

gelatin silver bromide print, mounted, printed ca. 1952

40 x 29,3 cm

© Nachlass Otto Steinert; Fotografische Sammlung, Museum Folkwang, Essen / Courtesy Kicken Berlin

SAMEER MAKARIUS (1924–2009)

Harán, from the series 'Temas biblicos', ca. 1961

gelatin silver print, printed ca. 1961

29,5 x 12 cm

© Sameer Makarius; makarius 2012 / Courtesy Kicken Berlin

OTTO STEINERT (1915–1978)

Lyrische Konstruktion, 1949

gelatin silver print, printed ca. 1949

29,2 x 22,7 cm

© Nachlass Otto Steinert; Fotografische Sammlung, Museum Folkwang, Essen / Courtesy Kicken Berlin

LUDWIG WINDSTOSSER (1921–1983)

Untitled (Röhre am Kran, Mannesmann Hüttenw. Huckingen), 1950s

gelatin silver print, printed 1950s

23,8 x 23,3 cm

© Estate of the Artist / Courtesy Kicken Berlin

The international reception of the subjective photography movement in the 1950s and the work of Otto Steinert, its most important proponent, have been an important reference point for Galerie Kicken for decades. Building on this foundation, we were able to bring together numerous diverse works related to his aesthetic in the show subjektive fotografie. Adventures in the Visual Field. The positive resonance our survey found among visitors, collectors, and institutions was the best possible confirmation of our conviction of the great significance of this second avant-garde. With this exhibition we thus invite an interested audience to delve into further “Wagnisse des Optischen” – adventures in the visual field – as Steinert himself so aptly put it.
The photograms of Swiss photographer Werner Bischof are a true discovery, as he was otherwise known for his participative, human reportage. The playfully light, glowing compositions of abstract-geometric elements were part of Hans Finsler’s student’s early body of work while at the Zurich School of Applied Arts.
We have also delved deeper into the extraordinarily rich and exciting oeuvre of South American photography. São Paulo was Brazil’s hub of art photograph from the 1940s through the 1960s. Thomaz Farkas, Gaspar Gasparian, and Marcel Giró were prominent exponents of the São Paulo school. Geometric abstractions, bold black-and-white contrasts, and atmospheric movement studies were hallmarks of their work.
Argentina was also involved in the modern movement at mid century, primarily represented by Sameer Makarius and the Grupo Forum, which he founded in 1956. The artist group was unified by an aesthetic that favored a subjective photographic composition that went beyond the mere illustration of reality. Following these aims, they put on exhibitions through 1960 at the Galeria Galatea in Buenos Aries and published portfolios. The members included José Costa, Rodolfo Ostermann, and Ricardo Sansó. This partially unknown material has only seldom been shown in Europe.
In addition to Otto Steinert’s work, we are also showing pieces by others from the fotoform cohort, including Siegfried Lauterwasser, Ludwig Windstosser, Toni Schneiders, and Peter Keetman, as well as European proponents of the style such as Swede Christer Strömholm and Japanese artists Kiyoshi Niiyama and Takashi Kijima. Harry Callahan and Aaron Siskind represent the American tradition of László Moholy-Nagy’s New Bauhaus. Moholy-Nagy integrated his principles of “light design” into the New Bauhaus’s classes and in those of the successor institution, the Chicago Institute of Design, where both Callahan and Siskind later taught.
Alongside the works of the second avant-garde at mid century, we are also presenting a small exhibition of the works of Pictorialist Heinrich Kühn. One of the most significant proponents of art photography at the turn of the twentieth century, Kühn was an authority on the gum bichromate printing technique. From the mid 1890s, he developed a visual language centered around landscape motifs, in which he tested the interplay of shapes and surfaces, light and shadow, and thus created a foundation of modern artistic vision. Indeed, Kühn’s and the Pictorialists’ focus on free artistic creativity in photography remained influential to Otto Steinert. We have taken the opportunity here to show some of Kühn’s rare large-format landscapes.