Folkwang Museum

Photography and Individuality

30 Jan - 04 Apr 2010

Portrait Concepts

Depiction of human beings in a thematic focal point of the Photographic Collection. Hardly any other field of photographic practice is more fascinating than depicting human beings and there are few photographers without portraits in their work.

The first exhibition in the new rooms presents fifteen photographers with a special relation to portraits, be it as main field of work, such as David Octavius Hill and Robert adams in the 19th century, August Sander and Stefan Moss in the 20th century or as specifically defined project such as Helmar Lerski’s “Verwandlungen durch Licht” from 1936 or the work of contemporary photographers Ken Ohara “24 Hours” and José Luis Neto “22474”. In all of these works, people are the starting point, but the resulting iconography is vastly different. With an exploration of individuality after the First World War, people became at first ‘object’ of visual production and increasingly, in the context of the media, normative ‘model’. The exhibition presents this spectrum of different types of portraits with their many issues and pictorial forms for discussion.

Tags: Robert Adams, August Sander