ALFRED EHRHARDT (1901-1984) New Vision / Neues Sehen: Nature and Abstraction

15. June 2014 to 11. January 2015

After a stint at the Dessau Bauhaus in 1928–29 where he attendedthe vorkurs (preparatory course) under Josef Albers, studied painting under Wassily Kandinsky and Paul Klee and interned with Oskar
Schlemmer, Alfred Ehrhardt taught the first vorkurs in material studies outside of the Bauhaus, at the Landeskunstschule in Hamburg. In 1933 the National Socialists removed him from his teaching post. Living in inner emigration as a church musician in Cuxhaven, he realised that the camera allowed him to innocuously produce things he was banned from painting. His very first work, the 1933– 36 series Das Watt, is one of the pre-eminent achievements of 1930s avant-garde photography. It is the point of origin of his entire, award-winning photographic and cinematic work. Focusing on sand, corals, shells, sponges, crystals, he would use the camera to “draw” the abstract forms of nature. He takes the viewer along on the fascinating journey of “new vision” – through his choice of subject and angle as well as the masterful use of lighting he offers us a new look at natural and urban landscapes, industry and microworlds, of the river Eider, Friedrichstadt and the Curonian Spit.

The exhibition was organised in cooperation with the Alfred-Ehrhardt- Stiftung in Berlin.