Part V: From Lucia Moholy to Marta Hoepffner, from Aenne Biermann to Barbara Klemm

EXHIBITION Apr 28 — Oct 20, 2023


Ghana, 2000

c-print, printed 2000-2010

120 x 90,5 cm

© Nachlass Sibylle Bergemann; Ostkreuz


Ghana, 2000

c-print, printed 2000-2010

92,5 x 97 cm

© Nachlass Sibylle Bergemann; Ostkreuz


Cheick und Mustafah, Dakar, Senegal, Design: Oumou Sy, 2001

c-print, printed 2000-2010

92 x 124 cm

© Nachlass Sibylle Bergemann; Ostkreuz

EDITH BUCH (1933–2020)

Puppenaugen / Dolls' Eyes, 1950

gelatin silver print, printed ca. 1950-195

18,3 x 24,1 cm

© Estate Edith Buch-Duttlinger


Afrikanische Kunst / African Art, 1935

tempera on board with vintage gelatin silver print collage, nailed to original stepped, black wood mount

49,2 x 38,1 cm

© Estate Marta Hoepffner


Autorennfahrer, Berlin / Race-Driver, Berlin, 1926

gelatin silver print of a photogram, printed ca. 1926

24 x 17,9 cm

© Estate Alice Lex-Nerlinger


Helga auf der Leiter / Helga on the ladder, 1950

gelatin silver print, solarized, printed ca. 1950

30 x 23,9 cm

© Monika Dietz

LOTTE JACOBI (1896–1990)

Lotte Lenya, ca. 1928

gelatin silver print, printed ca. 1978

17,3 x 22 cm

© Lotte Jacobi Collection, University of New Hampshire


Heike, Allerleirauh, 1988

gelatin silver print, printed ca. 1988

39,9 x 27,4 cm

© Nachlass Sibylle Bergemann; Ostkreuz

URSULA ARNOLD (1929–2012)

Leipzig, 1956

gelatin silver print, early print

34,5 x 25,6 cm

© Ursula Arnold Archiv der Ostdeutschen Sparkassenstiftung im Museum der bildenden Künste Leipzig


Happy Days, 1903

photogravure, printed ca. 1905

20,2 x 15,9 cm

© Public Domain


Belfast, Nordirland, 1986

28,3 X 38,6 cm

© Barbara Klemm


Firma Stinnes, Essen, Kokereianlage / Stinnes Company Essen, Coking Plant, 1957

gelatin silver print, printed ca. 1957

21,3 x 17 cm

© Estate of the Artist


Fotogramm, 1947

unique photogram on gelatin silver paper, ca. 1947-1949

23,6 x 17,7 cm

© Estate Anneliese Hager


Fotogramm / Photogram, 1932

unique photogram on gelatin silver paper, 1932

15,4 x 23,5 cm

© Estate of the Artist


Sommer / Summer, 1929

gelatin silver print, printed ca. 1929

28,6 x 21,9 cm

© Estate Marianne Breslauer


Untitled (Design for Gebrauchsgraphik Magazine), 1929

gelatin silver print, printed ca. 1929-1930

17,9 x 22,9 cm

© Estate of the Artist


Komposition mit Archipenko-Skulptur / Composition with Archipenko Sculpture, 1943

gelatin silver print, printed later

29,8 x 23,3 cm

© Estate Marta Hoepffner

FLORENCE HENRI (1893–1982)

Komposition / Composition, 1928

photoemulsion on canvas, mounted on stretcher, printed 1974

53,8 x 74,8 cm

© Estate of the Artist and ICP

LUCIA MOHOLY (1894–1989)

Untitled (Study by Thoma Grote, Preliminary Course László Moholy-Nagy (Bauhaus Weimar), 1924

gelatin silver print, printed ca. 1924

15,7 x 11 cm

© Estate of the Artist / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, 2023


Teleso v prostoru / Body in Space, 1936

gelatin silver print, printed ca. 1950s-1960s

23,7 x 18,1 cm

© Estate of the Artist


Untitled (Dancer Mary Wigman in 'Feierliche Gestalt'), 1928

gelatin silver print, mounted on original board, printed ca. 1928

17,2 x 22,9 cm

© Estate of the Artist / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2023

AENNE BIERMANN (1898–1933)

Sohn Gerd / Son Gerd, ca. 1930

gelatin silver print, printed ca. 1930

22,9 x 17,5 cm

© Biermann Family


Fotogramm (mit Spiegel) / Photogram (with mirror), 1934

unique photogram on gelatin silver paper, 1934

23,8 x 17,8 cm

© Estate of the Artist

LISETTE MODEL (1901–1983)

Untitled (Jumper), ca. 1940

unique gelatin silver print, mounted on cardboard, this between two sheets of plexiglas, printed 1980

101,2 x 79,6 cm

© 2023 Estate of Lisette Model

On the occasion of Gallery Weekend 2023, Kicken Berlin will be opening a further installment of the exhibition series SHEROES OF PHOTOGRAPHY, which was successfully initiated in 2021. The neologism shero expresses explicit appreciation of the achievements of women artists in photography. The sheroes of photography unite the self-assured practice of a modern medium with diverse perspectives on reality.
Following the opening group show and the individual presentations of the work of Tata Ronkholz, Jitka Hanzlová, and Sibylle Bergemann in 2021–22, part five of this series focuses on various artists from the nineteenth century to the present in a dialogical survey.
One focus is the photography avant-garde in the interwar period with Bauhaus artists such as Gertrud Arndt, Grit Kallin-Fischer, and Lucia Moholy. Like no other, Moholy influenced the contemporary view of the Bauhaus, immortalizing works, objects, and buildings in her objective and precise photographs.
The women masters of studio photography created staged works that are equally subtle and surreal—from Gertrud Käsebier, the pioneer of Pictorialism, and Lotte Jacobi, who made portraits of Berlin’s avant-garde artists and icons of her time including actress Lotte Lenya, to Charlotte Rudolph, who produced vivid portraits of dancers and is especially known for her ingenious portraits of the Expressionist dancer Mary Wigman.
The methods of Neues Sehen (New Vision) are presented with photographs by Aenne Biermann, Marianne Breslauer, and Elfriede Stegemeyer. Marta Hoepffner, who studied with Willi Baumeister at the Städelschule in Frankfurt am Main, used techniques of collage and montage to establish photography self-evidently in the canon of the modern arts. In this spirit, Alice Lex-Nerlinger also merged abstraction and collage. The European avant-garde of the interwar period is likewise manifested in photographs by Czech artist Jaroslava Hatlaková. Finally, Florence Henri, who was rooted both in the Bauhaus and Parisian modernism, reinterpreted her own iconic shots.
The transition to mid-century modernism is represented by the experimental photograms of Anneliese Hager. Otto Steinert not only curated exhibitions on subjective photography in Saarbrücken; he also deeply influenced a great number of women photographers. Monika Dietz and Edith Buch, two creators of surreal imagery who take up the thread of the avant-garde, both come from Steinert’s class at the School of Arts and Crafts in Saarbrücken.
Women photographers in West and East Germany have repeatedly followed and personally articulated documentary traditions. Ruth Hallensleben, one of the few women industrial photographers, documented factory buildings in objective images starting in the 1950s. In the 1970s and 1980s Barbara Klemm and Sibylle Bergemann established very personal narrative perspectives.
The Sheroes of Photography made extraordinarily innovative achievements for many decades, and their works continually engaged in productive dialogs with artistic ways of seeing. Their diverse perspectives on reality are united in their self-evident practice of one of the most important media of modernism.

Carolin Förster
Installation photographs: Ludger Paffrath