ASPECTS OF COLOR
EXHIBITION Apr 30 — Jun 4, 2011
In its Gallery Weekend Berlin 2011 exhibition Aspects of Color. A History of Color in Photography from Pictorialism to Contemporary, Kicken Berlin will show selected works of twentieth-century color photography, from Heinrich Kühn to Paul Outerbridge, Saul Leiter, Stephen Shore, Joel Meyerowitz, contemporaries Alfred Seiland and Joachim Brohm, as well as Götz Diergarten and Jitka Hanzlová. A wide spectrum of technology – from Autochrome processes, carbro color prints, Kodachrome, and dye transfers to analog and digital C-prints – reflects the various developments of color in photography throughout the century. The show also represents Kicken Berlin’s longtime dedication to making the medium of color photography accessible, a commitment that began with images by Stephan Shore in 1975.
Color was always considered a challenge for photography, long before the scandal erupted around William Eggleston’s pathbreaking 1976 exhibition Color Photography at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Heinrich Kühn, one of the central figures in international Pictorialist photography around 1900, used the Autochrome plate to create intense tones rich in contrast and to convey his artistic visions. Paul Outerbridge significantly developed the carbro color process with lightfast pigments between 1930 and 1940. His nudes and still lifes possess suggestive tonal depth and feel. Works by Czech avant-garde pioneer Jaroslav Rössler provide European examples of carbro prints also dating to the 1930s.
William Eggleston, Stephen Shore, and Joel Meyerowitz, proponents of the American New Color Photography movement, lent the medium important momentum in the 1970s. The vocabulary of everyday images in saturated color has influenced European artists such as Alfred Seiland and Joachim Brohm since the early 1980s. Today’s generation of color photographers has mastered the visual syntax of color both confidently and subtly, a talent manifested in the striking urban architecture of Becher School-graduate Götz Diergarten and the portraits and urban landscapes by Jitka Hanzlová. (Carolin Förster)