Museum Folkwang
  • Chronological insights into the Photography Collection – Photography since 1945

  • Art and applied photography by German and international photographers is the focus of the Collection for the period after 1945.

    Subjective Composition

    Extensive lots from the ›fotoform‹ group and the three ›subjektive fotografie‹ exhibitions put together by Otto Steinert represent the artistic endeavours of a generation of photographers who sought freely and consciously composed pictorial solutions. For their photographic interpretations of reality they drew on photographic avant-garde experiments from the 1920’s. While the ›fotoform‹ group, which included Otto Steinert, Ludwig Windstosser, Wolfgang Reisewitz and Peter Keetman among others, first emphasised the formal in their composition, the ›subjective fotografie‹ lot points to a broader concept which also includes international reportage photography.


    Applied Photography

    In the field of applied photography, precise composition and creative pictorial solutions were also sought after. The ›economic miracle‹ of the 1950’s provided artistically ambitious professional photographers with a large and varied range of possibilities. Apart from Steinert’s and Keetman’s photographic estates, the Collection holds large groups of works of applied photographers such as Ewald Hoinkis, Willi Moegle and Nils Laugesen which offer an impression of the broad field of architectural, industrial, object and fashion photography. The mostly minimalistic still lifes of the American photographer Irving Penn arose in an editorial, advertising and artistic context.
    Documentary photo-journalism of this period is also represented in large groups of works of German photographers: for example photo-reportages by Rolf Gillhausen, known above all as an ambitious photo editor of the magazines ›Stern‹ and ›Geo‹ and who was honored as a photographer in his first exhibition in Essen in 1986. Other photographs and reportages are by Eberhard Seeliger, Robert Lebeck, Jürgen Heinemann and Barbara Klemm. With works by Eugene Richards, Leonard Freed, Gilles Peress and Edward Adams, the Photographic Collection also offers an impression of the international range of this genre, of individually distinct commitments and related strategies of visualization.


    Unusual, Individual Statements

    Robert Frank, a Swiss originally from Germany, who presented a very personal, socially critical statement with ›The Americans‹ in 1955, made an early contribution to emancipating reporting photography as an artistic means of expression. Beyond contract work, photography and film’s documentary qualities were increasingly used for self-reflective, experimental or metaphorical statements. Comical, tragic-comical, enigmatic and blunt examples of this development are found in the Collection in the works of, for example, Lee Friedlander, Larry Fink, Garry Winogrand and Larry Clark from the USA or the Czech Josef Koudelka.


    Facets of Portraits

    Portrayals of people from this period, multifaceted and crossing various genres, are also included in the Photographic Collection: with Steinert’s strictly composed photographs of Nobel Prize winners in the 1960’s; with works by Richard Avedon and Irving Penn, with Diane Arbus’s portraits which capture social extremes. Added to the two works by Arnulf Rainer in the Collection, examples of his explorations which reflect on the media and himself from the series ›Faces Farces‹, were examples of his Photomatons.
    A prime example of different characterizations of ›Germans‹ in the 1960/70’s are photographs from projects by the Swiss René Burri, the Americans Leonard Freed and Will McBride as well as the German photographers Stefan Moses, Gabriele und Helmut Nothhelfer and Timm Rautert.
  • Exh_Title_S: Chronological insights into the Photography Collection – Photography since 1945
  • Exh_Id: 475
  • Exh_Comment_S (Verantw): Department of Photography
  • Exh_SpareNField01_N (Verantw ID): 184
Works
Solitude
En 2958 après les mutations
Maske einer Tänzerin
Die Bäume vor meinem Fenster 1
Schimmernde Schallplatte
Schnee-Inseln
Königspinguine mit Auto, Persiflage
Hoover Dam, Nevada
Port Gibson, Mississippi: In Front of the High School
New Arrival, Diagnostic, Texas
Untitled
Deutsche Hochschule für Körperkultur, Leipzig, DDR
Bildnis Percy Ernst Schramm, Historiker
a. d. Serie: Face Farces