William Eggleston, Untitled (Boy in Red Cardigan), 1971,
Dye-transfer print, 323 x 450 mm
Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich
Dauerleihgabe der Siemens Aktiengesellschaft
copyright 2003 The Eggleston Artistic Trust
Photo courtesy of Museum Ludwig, Cologne
Cruel and Tender - Photography and the Real
COLOGNE • Museum Ludwig • Ongoing
|The exhibition takes an in-depth look at the type of photography which aims to present unvarnished reality. The works selected are characterized by their factual way of representing reality, with the artist keeping a seemingly low profile. |
The exhibition title Cruel and Tender highlights the paradox of detachment and commitment. It goes back to a statement by Lincoln Kirstein, an art and literature scholar, who characterized the works of the American photographer Walker Evans using the expression "tender cruelty". The tension between objective description and subjective interest in the object becomes apparent in works which are completely different in character such as August Sander's major portrait project people in the 20th century and Boris Michailov's contemporary works depicting the predicament of the homeless and deprived in the former Soviet Union.
This major exhibition will present works by more than twenty photographers whose photographs depict reality and who have been trend-setters in this field. The exhibition will present comprehensive groups of works by Robert Adams, Diane Arbus, Lewis Baltz, Bernd and Hilla Becher, Philip-Lorca diCorcia, Rineke Dijkstra, William Eggleston, Walker Evans, Robert Frank, Lee Friedlander, Paul Graham, Andreas Gursky, Boris Michailov, Nicholas Nixon, Martin Parr, Albert Renger-Patzsch, Thomas Ruff, August Sander, Michael Schmidt, Fazal Sheikh, Stephen Shore, Thomas Struth and Garry Winogrand.
The photographer's unemotional and cold, yet sympathetic view of the objects depicted, which is the central theme of this exhibition, pre-supposes a detailed and objective description. Thus, formalistic, surrealist and romantic photographic trends are excluded right from the outset. This kind of photography creates pictures about objects, not pictures with objects. "Cruel and Tender - Photography and the Real" is not arranged in a chronological order, but creates a dialogue of individual positions. This dialogue takes place at different places and times and will reveal differences and affinities in the realistic photography of the 20th century.
The exhibition Cruel and Tender - Photography and the Real - is a joint venture by the Museum Ludwig and the Tate Modern. It was designed by Emma Dexter, senior curator at the Tate Modern and by Thomas Weski, senior curator at the Museum Ludwig.
Museum Ludwig Cologne Web Site
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