Wolfgang SIEVERS, Blast furnace in the Ruhr, Germany Enlarge 1 /1

Wolfgang SIEVERS

Germany 1913 – Australia 2007

  • Australia from 1938

Blast furnace in the Ruhr, Germany 1933 Materials & Technique: photographs, gelatin silver photograph

Primary Insc: No inscriptions
Dimensions: printed image 27.5 h x 23.0 w cm
Acknowledgement: Purchased 1988
Accession No: NGA 88.1913

The Ruhr region was at the centre of the German acceleration of industry in pre-war Germany, with rapid economic growth creating a heavy demand for coal and steel. In keeping with Modernist trends in photography, Sievers shot this blast furnace – the mechanism that transforms ore into metal – from an unusual, dynamic angle. It dominates the frame, appearing menacing and strange. Despite being imprisoned and beaten by the Gestapo, Sievers studied and taught at a progressive private art school until graduation in 1938. In that year he escaped Germany after being called up for military service, ending up in Australia.


Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra