Germany 1876 – 1964
The painter Franz Wilhelm Seiwert: from "Portraits of Artists by August Sander" (c.1928 prtd c.1974) Materials & Technique: photographs, gelatin silver photograph
Sander worked on his Menschen des 20.Jahr-hunderts (People of the twentieth century) from 1920 to 1934 when he ran into trouble with the Fascist government when it came to power. They objected to his objective, non-idealising approach to documenting the breadth of the German people, grouped by occupation and type, clear depictions of literal fact, and he was forced to abandon it. But what a glorious project it had been, the delicate tension between the social abstraction of occupation and the individual expression of it sensitively and masterfully portrayed. Sander’s Cologne studio was a popular meeting place for young artists and he photographed many of them.
Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra