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Unusual perspectives, contrasts, and angles as the means to express changing living conditions: In the 1920s many new fields of activity opened up for photographers, who provided pictures for everything from magazines and books to advertising design. Yet it was not only its economic function that smoothed the way for photography. As a seemingly authentic reproduction of reality, political movements recognized that photography was a good means of persuading and controlling the masses. In contrast to the defamation of modernism in the fine arts, no creative limitations were imposed upon photography—this new pictorial language was already firmly established in the general visual memory, and all throughout the Nazi era it remained linked to progressiveness.
Between 1918 and 1939, photography influenced the art world more than it had during hardly any other period. Keeping in mind the ongoing intensive debate about continuities and the different stylistic tendencies going in multiple creative directions during the 1920s and ’30s, this catalogue offers insight into the complexity of the era’s events. Eight thematic chapters introduce central aspects of art’s exploration of photography and the entire spectrum of motifs involved in employing it in various contexts.
Carl Albiker, Gertrud Arndt, Atelier Manassé, Ilse Bing, Karl Blossfeldt, Katt Both, Margaret Bourke-White, Walter Dexel, Max Ehlert, Hugo Erfurth, Alfred Erhardt, T. Lux Feininger, Hans Finsler, Max Göllner, Hein Gorny, Karl Theodor Gremmler, Heinz Hajek-Halke, Elisabeth Hase, Walter Hege, Heinrich Hoffmann, Lotte Jacobi, Paul W. John, André Kertész, Fred Koch, Stefan Kruckenhauser, Karl Krüger, Adolf Lazi, Erna Lendvai-Dircksen, Helmar Lerski, Madame d’Ora (Dora Kallmus), Felix H. Man, Werner Mantz, Lucia Moholy, Martin Munkacsi, Max Peiffer Watenphul, Georgij Petrussow, Albert Renger-Patzsch, Hans Retzlaff, Leni Riefenstahl, Hans Robertson, Alexander Rodchenko, Werner Rohde, Lothar Rübelt, Willi Ruge, Erich Salomon, August Sander, Arkadi Schaichet, Max Schirner, Hugo Schmölz, Fritz Schreiber, Herbert Schürmann, Friedrich Seidenstücker, Anton Stankowski, Sasha und Cami Stone, Paul Strache, Carl Strüwe, Umbo (Otto Umbehr), Hans Volger, Kurt Warnekross, Paul Wolff, Yva (Else Ernestine Neuländer-Simon), Hannelore Ziegler, Willi Zielke.