Dan Graham (*1942), View Interior, New Highway Restaurant, Jersey City, N.J., 1967 (detail), C-prints (printed in 1996), each 50.6 x 76.2 cm (images). On permanent loan from Siemens AG, Munich, to the Sammlung Moderne Kunst since 2003, © Dan Graham.

William Eggleston (*1939), Untitled, 1980, The first of 15 works from the portfolio Troubled Waters, Dye transfer print, 29.0 x 44.0 cm (image). On permanent loan from Siemens AG, Munich, to the Sammlung Moderne Kunst since 2003, © Eggleston Artist Trust.

Lee Friedlander (*1934), New York City, 1966, Gelatin silver print, Baryt paper (card), 21.9 x 32.8 cm (image). On permanent loan from Siemens AG, Munich, to the Sammlung Moderne Kunst since 2003, © Lee Friedlander.

John Baldessari (*1931), Man Running/Men Carrying Box, 1988-1990, Gelatin silver prints, vinyl paint and shading in oil, part 1: 121.3 x 118.6 cm; part 2: 121.3 x 146.6 cm (images). On permanent loan from Siemens AG, Munich, to the Sammlung Moderne Kunst since 2003, © John Baldessari.

The Unmediated and True Stories of American Photography

Robert Adams (*1937), East from Flagstaff Mountain. Boulder County, Colorado, 1975, from the series From the Missouri West, Gelatin silver print, Baryt paper (Agfa), (1989), 22.6 x 28.6 cm (image). On permanent loan from Siemens AG, Munich, to the Sammlung Moderne Kunst since 2003, © Robert Adams.

Nicholas Nixon (*1947), View of State Street, Boston, 1976, from the series Boston Views, 1974-1976, Gelatin silver print, Baryt paper (card), 20.3 x 25.2 cm (image). On permanent loan from Siemens AG, Munich, to the Sammlung Moderne Kunst since 2003, © Nicholas Nixon.

Stephen Shore (*1947), La Brea Avenue & Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles, California, 1975, Chromogenic print, Kodak professional paper (1998), 20.4 x 25.5 cm (image). On permanent loan from Siemens AG, Munich, to the Sammlung Moderne Kunst since 2003, © Stephen Shore.

John Gossage (*1946), EL NEGRITO, 1997, from the series There and Gone, Gelatin silver print, Baryt paper, screen print on photo mount card, 55.4 x 45.0 cm (image). On permanent loan from Siemens AG, Munich, to the Sammlung Moderne Kunst since 2003, © John Gossage.

Judith Joy Ross (*1946), Untitled, 1984, from the series Portraits at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Washington, D.C., 1983-1984, Gelatin silver print on daylight printing-out paper, shading in gold (print 1996), 25.2 x 20.2 cm (image). On permanent loan from Siemens AG, Munich, to the Sammlung Moderne Kunst since 2003, © Judith Joy Ross.

Zoe Leonard (*1961), from the series Analogue, 1998-2006, Dye transfer print, 50 x 40 cm. Sammlung Moderne Kunst in the Pinakothek der Moderne Munich. Acquired in 2009 by PIN. Freunde der Pinakothek der Moderne e.V., © Zoe Leonard.

 

Pinakothek Der Moderne
Barer Strasse 40
+ 089/23805-360
Münich
true stories
American photography
from the Sammlung Moderne Kunst

Robert Adams | John Baldessari | Lewis Baltz | Larry Clark | William Eggleston | Lee Friedlander | John Gossage | Dan Graham | Zoe Leonard | Nicholas Nixon | Richard Prince | Martha Rosler | Judith Joy Ross | Ed Ruscha | Stephen Shore | Garry Winogrand
March 2-September 30, 2012

American photography forms an extensive and simultaneously top-quality focal point in the collection, of which a selected overview is now being exhibited for the first time. The main interest of young photographers, who have been examining changes in political, social and ecological aspects of everyday American life since the late 1960s, has been the American social landscape. They have developed new pictorial styles that define stylistic devices perceived as genuinely American while at the same time being internationally recognised. Whereas Lee Friedlander, Garry Winogrand, Robert Adams, Lewis Baltz and Larry Clark, who are now considered classical modern photographers, have remained true to black-and-white photography, William Eggleston and Stephen Shore in particular have established colour photography as an artistically independent form of expression. The exhibition brings together around 100 works that, thanks to the Siemens Photography Collection and through acquisitions, bequests and donations, are now part of the museum’s holdings. true stories covers a spectrum from the street photography of the late 1960s to New Topographics and pictures by the New York photographer Zoe Leonard, taken just a few years ago.

"A new generation of photographers has directed the documentary approach toward more personal ends. Their work betrays a sympathy for the imperfection and frailties of society. Their aim has been not to reform life but to know it." With the exhibition New Documents in spring 1967, John Szarkowski, the influential curator of photography at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, rang in a new era in American photography. Those photographers represented, including Lee Friedlander and Garry Winogrand in addition to Diane Arbus, stood for a change in attitude within documentary photography that was conditioned exclusively by the subjective viewpoint of an individual’s reality. The object of photographic interest lay in the American social landscape and its conditions. It was less concerned with the natural landscape and its increasingly cultural reshaping than with the urban or urbanised space and how people move within it. In so doing, the New Documentarians rejected any obviously explanatory impetus, turning instead to the everyday and commonplace.

The exhibition New Topographics: Photographs of a Man-Altered Landscape that was staged in the mid 1970s at the International Museum of Photography in Rochester, represented a countermovement to this subjective form of expression. Their protagonists, including Robert Adams, Lewis Baltz, Nicholas Nixon and Stephen Shore, also pleaded for a documentary approach and were influenced by figures such as Walker Evans und Robert Frank, but considered themselves rooted in the tradition of 19th-century topographical photography in particular. The prime initiator of this working method, that was expressly not governed by style, is the Los Angeles-based artist Ed Ruscha. Their central aim is a distanced and seemingly analytical depicition, free of judgement; their topic, the landscape altered by mankind. It is the image of the American West in particular, so much conditioned by myths and dreams but long since brought back to reality as a result of commercial and ecological exploitation, that is visible in their works.

The decisive quantum leap to establishing the position of colour photography was made by the Southerner William Eggleston in his exhibition in 1976, also held at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the publication of the William Eggleston’s Guide. The harsh public criticism of his pictures was not to do with his use of colour but the fact that Eggleston photographed things and everyday situations — on the spur of the moment and in a seemingly careless manner — that, until then, had not been considered worthy of being photographed turning them into exquisite prints using the expensive and complicated dye-transfer process. In Eggleston’s cosmos of images that is strongly influenced by motifs and the light of the Mississippi Delta, colour constitutes the picture. The “rush of colour” championed by this exhibition led to the comprehensive implementation of colour photography in the field of artistic photography in the years that followed, starting in the USA and then in Europe – and especially in Germany.

An artistic attitude became established at the end of the 1970s that, with recourse to existing picture material from art, film, advertising and the mass media, formulated new pictorial concepts and, in the same breath, opened up traditional artistic and art-historical categories such as authorship, originality, uniqueness, intellectual property and authenticity to discussion. Appropriation Art owes its decisive influences to the artist John Baldessari, who lives and teaches in California. One of its most famous representatives is Richard Prince, who became famous in particular as a result of his artistic adaptation of advertising images. Concept art in the 1960s and 1970s similarly makes use of photography, both as part of an artistic practice using the most varied of materials and as a unique medium for documenting campaigns, happenings and performances. As works by Dan Graham and Zoe Leonard clearly show, the previously precisely delineated boundaries between photography that alludes to its own intrinsically, media-related history and the use of photography as an artistic strategy, have become more fluid.

A magazine has been published to accompany the exhibition. Price: 16 €.

Curator of the exhibition is Dr. Inka Graeve Ingelmann, Sammlung Fotografie und Neue Medien.

Richard Prince (*1949), Untitled (Party), 1993, part 7 of a 10-part series, Ektacolor print / C-print, Ektacolor paper, 12.5 x 8.5 cm (image). On permanent loan from Siemens AG, Munich, to the Sammlung Moderne Kunst since 2003, © Richard Prince.

Larry Clark (*1943), Tulsa, 1972, Gelatin silver print, 20.3 x 25.4 cm (sheet), Sammlung Moderne Kunst in the Pinakothek der Moderne Munich. Acquired in 2003 by PIN. Freunde der Pinakothek der Moderne, © Larry Clark.

William Eggleston (*1939), from Southern Suite (10-part series), 1981, Dye transfer print, 25 x 38.2 cm (image), Sammlung Moderne Kunst in the Pinakothek der Moderne Munich. Acquired in 2006 through PIN. Freunde der Pinakothek der Moderne e.V., © Eggleston Artist Trust.

Martha Rosler (*1943 ), Donuts, New Jersey Turnpike, 1995, from the series Rights of Passage, C-print, 36.4 x 99.5 cm (image). On permanent loan from Siemens AG, Munich, to the Sammlung Moderne Kunst since 2003, © Martha Rosler.

Garry Winogrand (1928-1984) Los Angeles, California, 1969, Gelatin silver print (pre 1984), 21.8 x 32.8 cm (image). On permanent loan from Siemens AG, Munich, to the Sammlung Moderne Kunst since 2003, © Estate of Garry Winogrand.

Lee Friedlander (*1934), Route 9W, New York, 1969, Gelatin silver print, Baryt paper (card), 20.4 x 30.5 cm (image). On permanent loan from Siemens AG, Munich, to the Sammlung Moderne Kunst since 2003, © Lee Friedlander.