Exhibitions at Johanna Breede PHOTOKUNST
Humility in the face of nature and its inimitable sublimity: that is the feeling that overcomes Jens Knigge during his wintertime travels along the Arctic Circle. He has recorded his impressions of snow-covered landscapes and the mysterious aurora borealis in mostly small-format platinum-palladium prints. In the end, the contact sheets of the negatives of his analog photographs illustrate the inadequacy of established formal idioms and modes of expression. For it seems to be virtually imposs… more
The world is a stage. In the wings of work and everyday life, against a backdrop of hope and care, we perform our tiny roles in the vast world theatre. Perhaps we’re not aware of the play. Perhaps the stages are too large and the masquerades have become like a second skin. We know neither the title of the piece, nor do we know the author, set designer or any happy endings. We’re just mimes, imposters of social roles, actors in beloved figurations. At certain moments, however, we s… more
When we depart, walking over the summer leaves and the meadows which confidently and piercingly surrendered to the sun, memories resonate in each of our steps. We leave regret and desire behind, while the future lurks ahead in the bushes. And this is only an image from a lost garden – made from a fabric, woven from flowers and freckles. The photographer Isa Marcelli, born in Algeria in 1958, has many such images in her work - images which appear like small flashbacks. They are reminisce… more
There is no photography. There is always only the photograph which gazes back at the viewer. Sometimes with a careful, tentative and questioning look; sometimes with a brisk or hasty glance. But it always offers something: an invitation to brief conversations. The viewer always looks, and the photograph, full of curiosity, gazes back. As in 1966, when the German reportage photographer Robert Lebeck took a portrait of the former German chancellor Konrad Adenauer at his 90th birthday celebration … more
Some thoughts inspired by Lessing’s Laocoon on the art of Karin Székessy by Max Bense: "The beauty that is communicated to us from physical objects is subject to general laws that may relate to several things; to actions and thoughts just as much as to external appearance." (Laocoon, 1766)
Looking at the photographs by Karin Székessy might inspire you to write a new Laocoon which would have to take as its subject less "the limits of painting and poetry"… more
The world is disrupted. Behind familiarity there is often the unknown; behind the present history extends itself. Wherever there is light there is also shadow - a discrepancy which is difficult to bear. From here to there it is often only a jump. Only a few manage to make exactly this jump to the homeland; to build a house on the cracks and borders. One who did manage this jump is the German-French naturalist and poet Adelbert von Chamisso. In an either/or situation he tried the third option. … more
The world is being manipulated. Things which we consider to be real may be, at closer inspection, just a muddle of incoherent messages. What had once been clear signs of communication, now looks like a mess - jumbled and confused. Dallas, Texas 1963: the facade of a building, facing the highway, is scattered by texts and signs - it's a chaos of letters. One message conceals the next, one billboard covers it's neighbor. The more we want to decipher this image the less we understand t… more
All water is a parable. It has depth and breadth; it has calm and tumult. It appears to reflect all ambiguities. Even in antiquity it was referred to as the basis of life: "Everything from water, and to water everything returns," said the philosopher Thales of Miletus.
The photographers Sheila Rock and Beat Presser could say the same of water. On June 19th, the Galerie Johanna Breede PHOTOKUNST opens the exhibition Seascapes, in which Sheila Rock and Beat Presser together take… more
We alone are the insiders of our interior worlds. Within ourselves we feel safe and yet often isolated and sealed off. At the same time, hope is almost always contained therein: evident itself in windows, in the gates of the eyes. Each window is a link, a step between the interior and the exterior. The window functions just as with the lens of a camera - it is the point between the camera obscura and the outside. The point where light breaks through and illuminates another world.
Alfred Hi… more
1956 schliesst Monique Jacot, 22jährig, ihre Ausbildung als Photographin mit einem Diplom der Ecole des Arts et Métiers in Vevey ab. Ihre Lehrer Gertrude Fehr, Hermann König und Claudine Peter haben ihr das technische Rüstzeug vermittelt und Anregungen für ein kreatives bildnerisches Gestalten im Studio gegeben – dies allerdings noch ganz im Geist der Vorkriegszeit, geprägt von traditionellen Auffassungen über die Aufgaben und die Bestimmung der Phot… more
The world is everything that is the case. It is a rolling landscape at dusk and a swarm of birds over a temple's roof. The world is a teacup in Onomichi and a deserted island in Naoshima. It is, in actuality, everything that is the case. Or, at least, so indicates the famous first posit of Wittgenstein's "Tractatus logico-philosophicus". But the world could also be the reality depicted in Donata Wenders' photo series "Journey to Onomichi". In this photograp… more
Ausstellung in der autorenbuchhandlung berlin
Fotografen haben ihre eigene Wahrheit. Sie zeigen uns immer nur einen Ausschnitt dessen, was wirklich da ist. Sie verfremden, dirigieren Licht und Schatten. Sie machen sich groß oder klein, klettern oder legen sich hin. Sie haben ein eigenes Zeitgefühl und häufig ein gutes Gespür für den richtigen Moment. Zwischen ihnen und dem, was sie sehen, steht immer die Kamera. Wann der Auslöser gedrückt wird, bleibt ihr Geheimnis. Erst mit dem fertigen Bild lassen sie … more
The Finest Shades of Gray
When a contemporary photographer is interested in such an archaic technique as the platinum-palladium print in our age of digital imagery, he must have a good reason: for Jens Knigge it is likely the rich gray tonal scale which can only be achieved in this process. As Irving Penn before him, Knigge has perfected the entire production process as few others have, starting with releasing the shutter of his large-format camera, to the work he later performs in the darkroom… more
The ABSOLUTE LANDSCAPE
The series THE ABSOLUTE LANDSCAPE resembles a play, in which light becomes the principal actor, time the author, and the landscape simply the stage and setting. Through light, as an analogy of time, the invisible author attempts to establish a visible presence. The performance of this theater of light runs over a quarter of a century.
This concept dates back to the idea of the serial representation of time as invented by Muybridge and later revisited by Monet. Muybridge disassembles movemen… more
Great careers have small beginnings. When Robert Lebeck was given his first camera in 1952, he cannot have dreamt that in the course of five decades that little device would help him become probably Germany’s most important photo-reporter. And his photographic training is reckoned to have lasted just ten minutes – the time it took him to read the instruction booklet for his brand-new Retina 1a back then. His first pictures were apparently enlarged in his bathroom and then dried in th… more
It’s a man’s world. James Brown even sang a song about it. Men were the ones who had invented cars, trains and ships. Men were the born creators. The “King of Soul” failed to mention however that it was also men who invented photography; men, who first created artificial images from light and chemicals. Technically enthusiastic homo faber. It was small wonder that such types initially found themselves mostly behind rather than in front of their new inventions; where the… more
Wer geht, lässt los. Wer geht, kappt alte Haltepunkte; verlässt Vertrautes und folgt seiner Vision. Erst wo das Alte rückwärtig am Horizont verschwindet, scheinen neue Lösungen möglich zu werden. „Das Wissen kommt von den Sohlen“, heißt es in Werner Herzogs Reisebeschreibung „Vom Gehen im Eis“. Wandern ist eben immer auch Wandlung; ist Lebenslauf; ist Loslassung. Von einer solchen Metamorphose beim Gehen erzählt auch Ulrike Ottinge… more
China: 1985 Japan: 2011
A retoucher’s workshop: a table in the window, which is both light source and shop window. His retoucher’s pen in his right hand, he leans over a portrait photo, comparing the fruits of his labour with a small photographic original. On the table, other pens or brushes lie ready, next to magnifying glasses and all kinds of boxes, tins and phials. The retoucher’s face is unseen, yet the overall picture is one of the greatest precision and an almost meditative absorption.
A the… more
Photographies 1985 - 2010
As we recall, “You press the button, we do the rest” was the advertising slogan when - over a century ago - Georg Eastman, the founder of the Kodak Empire, simplified photography so that even laymen could arrive at reasonable results. Since then, photography has experienced a complex development: both technically and with regard to the aesthetics of the image. In the meantime, analogous processes are being replaced by digital. In relation to this, Marek Pozniak took a voluntary ste… more
Women are a major driving force of photography. No sooner had French pioneer Louis Daguerre introduced the media to the public in 1839 than it began to be used as a method to portray female beauty. It was American chemist John W. Draper who ushered women into photography with a portrait of his sister Dorothy. And ever since, the suspicion has been that a wooing Orpheus lurks behind the cold technology of the camera - an artist whose intentions are to captivate and seduce women with photographs.
The with outcry of “There is the sun!” the child Louis Stettner, dramatically gesturing towards the heavens, discovered the most primordial of all light sources. They were, according to him, his first words. It is this youthful fervor, and a never-ending passion for the experience of sight that the 90 year old photographer has retained to this day. The moments that he captures from the river of time fascinate through humor and ambiguity, intuition and empathy, like the picture &ldquo… more
Johanna Breede presents Heinz Hajek-Halke (1898-1983), one of the great photography pioneers of the 1920s and early 1930s in Germany. He was one of the first to experiment with superimposed images and montages, to leave the documentary aspect of photography behind him and enter the world of the unreal and the ambiguous. An oversized female nude appears in the middle of a street scene. With alienations such as those in "Üble Nachrede (Slander)" or the famous "Schwarz-Weissen A… more
Synergie der Künste
Romanesque masonry, rounded arches and cushion capitals, juxtaposed with concrete cuboids, pillars and walls – at first sight, Jens Knigge’s photography thematises two seemingly completely different examples of architecture. The Cistercian abbey at Le Thoronet was built in Provence between 1160 and 1190, according to the specifications of Bernard de Clairvaux. The unknown master builder used the local limestone to merge the staggered, multi-levelled construction into the surrounding … more
Michael Ruetz has created, over the last 50 years, a unique body of photographic work. Superficially, these images might appear to pay tribute to the established forms of animal photography. But a second, more focused view shows that the reverse is true. Ruetz' pictures are as far removed from those of the animal specialists as they are from the images of classical painting. Some of the dogs in his photographs are shown with humans or with other animals, such as cows and cats, or with house… more
Stefan Moses is passionate about meeting his fellow humans and seeing their faces. His portraits are unmistakably sympathetic. They are also marked by the humor and fantasy used by the photographer to achieve his subjects' playful cooperation. His art moves beyond mere portraiture to capture the depth of the person's character and energy.Srefan Moses' portraits are known for their felicitous intimacy and long-range focus extending over decades. His photography has given us a uniqu… more
In his work as a photojournalist, travel and portrait photographer, as well as a photographer for the legendary Stuttgart Ballet, Hannes Kilian has uniquely combined documentary, the human element and artistic validity.With intuition and precision, the technical and aesthetic possibilities of the photographic medium fully utilized, he recognized the expressive motif in the everyday and seemingly random aspects of life. In doing so, Kilian’s view is indeed subjective.Lighting, angle and ima… more
The work of the Swiss photographer Kurt Wyss (*1936 Basel) will be shown for the first time in Berlin at Johanna Breede PHOTOKUNST.
Le merveilleux photographe Kurt WyssDe la population de Bâle j´ai une idée très arrêtée et c´est qu´elle est faite de gens singuliers. Je sais bien qu´il faut se garder de généraliser trop vite mais tout de même tous les Bâlois que j´ai connus (un certain bon nombre) ét… more
In 2009 Swiss photographer Beat Presser travelled to East Africa to accomplish a story on Dhows. A seafaring culture, spreading from India across the Indian Ocean to the Arabian peninsula and on to East Africa since the early days. Till today. When and where these wooden boats first conquered great distances we will never know. Beat Presser observed fishermen, boat-builders, travelled thousands of miles as a passenger photographing along the coast of Tanzania and to the islands of Zanzibar, Pem… more
The present moment and eternity: never are they as close to one another as in a Polaroid, that type of instant photo that is transient because it fades with time. It is also timeless, because ist fuzziness, the way ist contents seem to flow and merge into each other, opens up new horizons: the surreal rarely demands answers about either time or place. An old-fashioned oddity, the Polaroid is a one-off image, there is no negative. Even at the very moment that it comes into being, it begins to fad… more
Johanna Breede PHOTOKUNST presents the rediscovery of the German photographer Max Scheler (1928-2003). Scheler, once named Germanys most famous photojournalist of his time, published in Heute, Look, Picture Post, Paris Match, Epoca, Münchner Illustrierten and stern. For his photo essays he travelled around the world for over 25 years.Max Scheler had the ability to pay attention to the nuances in dealing with people. His portraits of celebrities or historical moments are characterized by thi… more
Birgit Kleber, born in Hannover 1956, worked after her training as a photographer and picture editor for various magazines. In the U.S. she attended workshops by Lotte Jacobi and Berenice Abbott. Since 1984 she works as a freelance photographer concentrating mainly on portrait photography. The protagonists of Fine Art, literature, film, music and photography are all to be found in her archive. Johanna Breede PHOTOKUNST puts her focus on those protagonists. The first time Birgit Kleber´s nu… more
The method simply photographing a pre-conceived object-world cannot be discussed aesthetically here but in its place, it can be said that the photographic creation of an object-world belongs to the artistic process. It is not the physical, material means of photography from which a selection must be made in every artistic work in order to obtain the artistic product as a totality of certain objects or significances, however concrete or abstract the art. In this kind of artistic photography, as … more
In der Photographie gibt es jenen magischen Augenblick, in dem ein Motiv, eine Szene sich zu einer vollendeten Komposition fügt, ein Bild tieferen Sinngehalt gewinnt und die menschliche Seele sichtbar wird. Manche Bildfindungen ergeben sich aus dem Zauber des Augenblicks wie Sibylle Bergemanns Schwarzweißaufnahme ‚Maren’ - mit einer leisen Melancholie und einer einfühlsamen, gelebten Bildsprache. Louis Stettner’s Zwillingstürme des World Trade Center im Mor… more
Die unbequeme Zeit
The pictures of political demonstrations and from student communes in Berlin by Michael Ruetz have become a permanent element of German memory culture; hardly any conversation about the events of that time can do without a reference to these photographs – they have been stamped, like coins, into the memory. But for Ruetz himself these pictures were not imaginable without the other ones, there were no student demonstrations without the bourgeois daily life out of which these had sprung, no … more
Liselotte Strelow is one of the most significant representatives of German portrait- and theatrephotography of the 20th century. Her work, mainly in the ´50s and ´60s, made a decisive mark on the image of German photography. Her camera was the focus for many and interesting face and personality, resulting in a comprehensive collection of pictures; one of the most striking assemblies of subjective representation - and today also part of history of our century. The protagonists of Fi… more
Bilder einer verschwindenden Zeit
Johanna Breede PHOTOKUNST präsentiert in ihrer diesjährigen Sommerausstellung „Invisible Past – Bilder einer verschwindenden Zeit“ Photoarbeiten von Sibylle Bergemann, Hannes Kilian, Stefan Moses, Louis Stettner, Birgit Kleber, Dieter Matthes, Martin Mlecko und Leo Pompinon.
Unsere Umgebung befindet sich in einem stetigen Wandel in dem die Zeit ihre Spuren hinterlässt. Veränderungen, Fort- und Rückschritte bestimmen dabei den Verlauf. Wahrnehmungen we… more
In 1970 exiled Tibetan Monks founded the Buddhist monastery, Sera, in the southern Indian state of Karnataka. This monastery furthers the Tibetan Buddhist tradition of one of the "Three Great Monasteries," Sera in Lhasa, the five-hundred-year monastery now under Chinese control. This exiled monastery is a place of shared learning and a place of philosophical and religious debate. It is a place where the highest academic graduates of the monastic university will grow. Monks will study t… more
She has written photographic history: Sibylle Bergemann (born in Berlin in 1941) is one of Germany's truly great photographers. The diversity and scope of her work are frankly remarkable – thus, her mastery embraces fashion, reportages and photo-essays no less than landscapes, cityscapes and portraits. Her images are permeated by respect and empathy for people and their circumstances. Restraint is a hallmark of her photography, whose attention is fully focussed on its subjects. This approach a… more
Photography exposes that magical moment in which one single phrase connects a scene to the entire composition, reveals the deeper meaning behind a picture, and bears man's soul. Beat Presser's art knows many moments like this. They emerge from his deep understanding of the creative power of black and white photography. More importantly, however, as a photographer and film-maker, these magical moments arise from Presser's month- and often year's-long devotion to his projects.
Beat Presser's fame… more
A man sits on a bench, arms wide spread and taking a sunbath, the panorama of Manhattan before him; two Dalmatians, elegant and dignified, on the backseat of a convertible; the Twin Towers of the World Trade Tower in morning haze and a lonely sea gull: many photographs by Louis Stettner have become icons. They are part of his long forays with his camera through entirely normal life. But he looks at the day-to-day in a different and particular way, he is ever ready for the fortuitous and the unus… more
Ars Nobilis - Kunstmesse im Automobilforum, Unter den Linden 21 Berlin
Gute Porträtphotographien zeugen auch von faszinierenden Begegnungen. Zum Beispiel von den kostbaren Minuten, in denen Gundula Schulze Eldowy im Ägyptischen Museum in Kairo die Mumien der Pharaonen photographieren konnte. In der Welt der Lebenden unzähligen neugierigen Blicken ausgesetzt, bekommen die Jahrtausende alten Toten in den Bildern der Photographin ihre würdevolle Spiritualität zurück und entfalten, wie der Kopf Thutmosis' IV., eine eigenartige berührende Schönheit. Die auf Mada… more
Photography determined Herbert Tobias' life for twenty years. At times, as he himself stated, it even drove him to the very edge of insanity. Photography gave Tobias an outlet for his innermost emotions and desires. The camera was also a tool through which he communicated with the rest of the world. In his images of longing, passion, isolation, luck, pain and joy he detailed the architecture of his inner values - a structure that stood opposed to the rise of 1950s consumerism and all its accomp… more
With her profound, subtle instinct for color, form and structure, Barbara Celestina connects landscape and architectural photography with abstracted details of the painted body. She creates, photographically, poetic compositions from three, occasionally four frames. These frames take each corporeal landscape into its own unique atmosphere. Celestina's photographs take the viewer through an experience of our world steeped in color, an experience that includes the sensuality of erotism and the mel… more
"As a result of the variety of content and the unique personalities of artists the art of portraits appears in many different styles."
Floris M. Neusüssmore
The day is light, the night is twilight. As early as 1857, Charles Baudelaire wrote in his poem Le Crépuscule du soir of man's guise which would morph, animal-like, under the "black curtain" of night. Darkness, it is the place of trap doors and two faces.
The theme of darkness (twilight), the magical time before the break of dawn, pervades the work of the photographic artist, Torsten Warmuth (b.1968, in Hildburghausen). In 2006, the museum Kunsthalle Erfurt presented Warmuths' series Nachtsam… more
Anlässlich des 100. Geburtstages
Concurrent with the first ever major retrospective of Hannes Kilian, presented by Berlin's Martin Gropius Bau, Johanna Breede and Gundel Kilian collaborate to present an exhibition of this photojournalist's seminal work. In honor of his 100th birthday, this exhibition brings together exceptional examples of Kilian's unique, personal, visual reflections, including some previously unpublished images. Kilian conferred his atypical flair for the phenomenon of movement to the heart of his still, … more