Tag Archives: Neue Sachlichkeit photography

Karl Blossfeldt is coming to Whitechapel Gallery!

Exploring the active, stretching tentacles of European modernism at the end of the ’20s for my thesis, I came across the following quote by Walter Benjamin on German artist Karl Blossfeldt’s microphotography and botanical subjects:

 Walter Benjamin [1928] ‘New Things about Plants’ A review of Karl Blossfeldt, Urformen der Kunst

 ‘Every calyx, every leaf confronts us with pictorial essentials which range through all stages of creation: metamorphosis in Nature has the final word. These have developed from one of the deepest, most unfathomable forms of creation – from the mutation in which the element of genius has always resided – the collective creative power of Nature. This fertile mutation is diametrically opposed to human invention – the natura non facit saltus of the ancients’  taken from David Mellor (ed.) ,1978,  Germany: The New Photography 1927 – 33, London: The Arts Council of Great Britain, 21

One of a group of Neue Sachlichkeit photographers, Blossfeldt stuck in my mind for his surrealist eye – in particular his isolation and cropping of particular objects that removes their immediate context and may initially puzzle the viewer. I am really excited that Whitechapel will be displaying over 80 silver gelatin prints of his work :


Karl Blossfeldt.

16 April – 14 June 2013
Galleries 8 & Victor Petitgas Gallery (Gallery 9)

Karl Blossfeldt.