By descent to his daughter, Sigrid Biow
Sander Gallery, Silver Spring, Maryland
Collection of Michael H. Glicker, Chicago
Christie’s New York, 9 October 1997, Sale 8748, Lot 77
Gunther Sander, ed., August Sander: Citizens of the Twentieth Century (MIT Press, 1997), pl. 318
Gunther Sander, August Sander: Photographer Extraordinary (London, 1973), unpaginated
Susanne Lange, Alfred Döblin, and Manfred Heiting, August Sander 1876-1964 (Taschen, 1999), p. 121
Beaumont Newhall and Robert Kramer, August Sander: Photographs of an Epoch 1904-1959 (Aperture, 1980), p. 73
For a photographer known for his straightforward documentary style, Sander’s friendship with this particularly radical group of artists is surprising. Räderscheidt, Hoerle, Seiwert, and others were photographed by Sander, who was also an enthusiastic chronicler of the artists’ yearly Mardi Gras revels. Räderscheidt, alone and with Hegemann, was photographed numerous times by Sander, and this extended portrait parallels Räderscheidt’s paintings, which frequently show a stylized bowler-hatted figure, sometimes attended by a female figure, aloof in a stark urban landscape. A variant of the portrait offered here accompanied Räderscheidt’s statement in the 1926 catalogue for the Neue Kunst, Alte Kunst exhibition: ‘I am 34 years old and was born in Cologne. I paint the man with the bowler hat and the hundred percent woman who steers him through the picture. My fondness for the horizontal and the vertical is a means of guiding the observer through my pictures.’
Both Sander and Räderscheidt served in World War I and were deeply affected by the conflict. Sander returned determined to create his epic collective portrait of the German people. Räderscheidt, who survived Verdun but was seriously wounded, made paintings that captured the alienation of modern life. Both attracted the attention of the German authorities. In 1934, the Reich Chamber of Arts ordered the destruction of the printing plates for Sander’s book Antlitz der Zeit and the seizure of all copies. Räderscheidt, whose work had been included in the Neue Sachlichkeit exhibition at Mannheim in 1925, was branded a ‘degenerate artist’ and many of his works were destroyed. In 1936, he fled Germany for France, where he was imprisoned by occupation forces. After World War II, he returned to Cologne, where his work evolved into Magic Realism.
With its vellum overmat, signed by the photographer beneath the image, and its printed ‘Menschen des 20. Jahrhunderts’ label on the reverse, the photograph offered here presents the ideal state for an early August Sander print. Sander’s home studio in Cologne was destroyed in 1944, and surviving prints from the 1920s or 1930s are scarce.
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