“Coastal Land” was the identify of the photograph e book that was mentioned in 1939 by the then famend writer Heinrich Ellermann, a photograph journey to the North Frisian Islands and the Danish coast. Nonetheless, it was not printed as a result of the views between the photographer Fritz Schleifer and the Hamburg publishing home diverged an excessive amount of.
Who was this man, whose identify can’t be present in any photographer’s lexicon to at the present time? Born in Hamburg in 1903, Schleifer accomplished the legendary preliminary course on the Weimar Bauhaus from 1922 to 1924, was acquainted with Gropius, Feininger, Kandinsky and Moholy-Nagy and was appointed to the State Artwork College in Hamburg in 1930. He had made a reputation for himself as an architect, a proficient draftsman, a furnishings designer and, on the aspect, as a photograph artist. In 1933, he and his colleague Alfred Ehrhardt had been promptly dismissed as unpopular representatives of modernism.
Years after Schleifer’s demise in 1977, Schleifer’s son Jan and the curator Hans Bunge got here throughout a set of 128 classic prints and several other notebooks within the basement of the home. From these, Bunge was in a position to reconstruct the deliberate scope of the version that remained within the venture.
He chosen 48 photographs from the gathering for the presentation on the Alfred Ehrhardt Basis: Deep furrows lead additional and additional by way of the Wadden Sea, paths department out to a distant horizon, white clouds float over the land. You by no means tire of following Schleifer’s photograph journey to the north. The rediscovered, rigorously ready photograph collection is a real reward for all followers of basic black and white images.
The placement of the exhibition and Schleifer and Ehrhardt’s colleagues on the State Artwork College actually recommend a comparability of the totally different approaches. “Schleifer is fascinated by human intervention in nature,” writes Christiane Stahl within the catalog. It turns into even clearer with the assertion: “With him, the wonder lies extra within the assemble of the picture itself than in the fantastic thing about the motif.”
Clouds, rows of bushes, wagon tracks
In truth, the viewer feels the designer in each shot, trying on the winding observe mattress of a lorry railway on a Halligen island, the black wagon tracks within the Wadden Sea, the fishing boats mendacity on the shore and even the highest view of them, which had been nonetheless at a free distance on the time Seashore chairs on Sylt are a delight.
At one level there’s a horse, lonely and misplaced in a paddock. The view goes to the row of bushes, the thatched homes and the clouds within the sky. There’s a boat prepared for departure. Or to flee from what could come?
Fritz Schleifer’s coastal panorama proves to be formed by human arms in each shot. Additional interventions could also be forthcoming. The place railway tracks are laid out, business just isn’t far-off; the place a dozen seaside chairs have been carted up, there can quickly be 100. Alfred Ehrhardt regarded for different motives as a result of he thought otherwise. He ignored practice tracks, fishing boats and farms with the intention to tirelessly hint the motion of the wind, the move of waves and sand, the pure parables for the expansion and decay, the dissolution and reformation of every part created.
The reference to the placing, and on no account simply formal, variations between the 2 photographers just isn’t supposed to detract from the fascinating impact of Schleifer’s collection of photographs of the coast. His method comes from the college of New Imaginative and prescient, which formed the fashion in Europe and America within the Nineteen Twenties and Thirties and was formed by the idea in progress from numerous ideological backgrounds. As a consequence of his expertise, Fritz Schleifer was most likely now not ready to participate on this unhindered. His paths within the coastal area result in a dreamland between preservation and quiet resignation.
The images are distinctive, unsaleable gadgets. Nonetheless, you should purchase the catalog edited by Hans Bunge, which exhibits your entire breadth of Fritz Schleifer’s inventive work beneath the title “The Lack of the Center”.