9.Dec 23 - 3.Feb 24
Paris Photo 2023
9 - 12.Nov 2023
Exhibitions > Paris Photo 2023
At this year’s edition of Paris Photo, Galerie Julian Sander is showing works by photographers Grete Stern and Ellen Auerbach, who operated under the studio name ringl + pit from 1929 to 1933, as well as their contemporaries Elfriede Stegemeyer and Claude Tolmer.
The centerpiece is Grete Stern’s (1904 – 1999) series Sueños/Dreams, a group of 38 photomontages dealing with dreams, fantasies, and the subconscious. These works were originally published between 1948 and 1951 in the Argentine women’s magazine Idilio, where they served as illustrations for a regular column entitled Psychoanalysis Will Help You. At that time, psychoanalysis and dream interpretation were gaining popularity, and female readers were invited to send in recordings of their dreams to be analyzed and interpreted. Using the technique of photomontage, Stern created surreal-looking and highly symbolically charged scenes in her Sueños that, like the readers’ dreams, are open to interpretation and interpretation. The Sueños are not only visually impressive, but also represent a remarkable contemporary document, reflecting the changing reality of life for Argentine women in an era marked by political and social upheaval. The extremely extensive literature on Stern’s series that has been published to date accordingly comes from very different disciplines such as art history, history, psychology, political science, and sociology.
Grete Stern became internationally known in particular through her collaboration with Ellen Auerbach (then Ellen Rosenberg/ 1906 – 2004). They had met at their mutual teacher Walter Peterhans, whose Berlin studio they took over after his move to the Dessau Bauhaus and ran under the name ringl + pit. Their work is considered groundbreaking for portrait and advertising photography of the interwar years and influenced numerous European and American artists. From Stern’s and Auerbach’s creative years together, Galerie Julian Sander presents the portfolio Fotografie ringl + pit, edited by Gerd Sander in 1985, with 12 of the best-known photographs from this period.
With Elfriede Stegemeyer (1908 – 1988) Galerie Julian Sander shows another outstanding photographer of the 1930s. Born in Berlin, she studied at the local Staatliche Kunstschule Berlin-Schöneberg under the painter Curt Lahs before specializing in photography at the Cologne Werkschulen in the early 1930s. Her interest in everyday objects, their potential for form and design, as well as material structures and connections, characterize the core of her photographic oeuvre. In Cologne, she was in close contact with the Cologne Progressives, and it was here that her pictorial ideas and love of experimentation developed. Using her preferred techniques of the photogram and photomontage, she created visually complex compositions in which she pushed the boundaries of the medium and explored new possibilities of visual expression during her occupation with photography, which lasted only six years.
The exhibition is complemented by works of the French photographer and graphic artist Claude Tolmer (1911 – 1991). Son of the founder of Maison Tolmer, a manufacturer of packaging and printed products for luxury goods known at the time for its avant-garde designs, he trained as a painter under André Lhote before joining the family business as a commercial artist and art director. Fascinated by the possibilities of photography, he experimented with photograms and montages in combination with painting and drawing. Some examples were published in 1931 in his father’s canonical book on graphic design, Mise en Page: the Theory and Practice of Layout. With ringl + pit, he shares an interest in the materiality of the objects depicted as well as a sense of pictorial compositions that are as humorous as they are delicate.
Julian Sander Gallery is particularly pleased to be part of the Elles x Paris Photo Parcours this year, for which the work of Grete Stern has been selected. Elles x Paris Photo is a program initiated in collaboration between the fair and the French Ministry of Culture and supported by Women In Motion, a Kering program to promote women in art and culture.