August Sander: In Photography There Are No Unexplained Shadows (Cologne and London, 1996), p. 139
Susanne Lange, Alfred Döblin, and Manfred Heiting, August Sander, 1876-1964 (Taschen, 1999), p. 125
Van Deren Coke, Avant-Garde Photography in Germany, 1919-1939 (Munich, 1982), cover
Ann Thomas, Modernist Photographs from the National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa, 2007), pl. 60
The subject of this photograph is the artist Heinrich Hoerle (1895-1936), a leading figure in the Dada and Constructivist movements in Cologne. The apartment he shared with his wife Angelika became a meeting place for local artists and the launching pad for many projects in the 1910s and early 1920s. The Hoerles were part of the vibrant and heterogeneous art scene of Cologne that also included Max Ernst, Anton Räderscheit, Franz Wilhelm Seiwert, and others who challenged the artistic status quo and freely criticized bourgeois German society and the rise of National Socialism. The Hoerles contributed work to the proto-Dada magazine, Der Ventilator, and the solidly Dadaist Bulletin D. With Räderscheit and his wife Marta, they produced the more politically-oriented journal Stupidien (1920). With Seiwert, Hoerle was a founder of the avant-garde Cologne Progressives group and the editor of its journal a bis z.
For a photographer who was known for his straightforward documentary style, Sander’s association and friendship with this particularly radical group of Cologne artists is somewhat surprising. Hoerle, Räderscheit (both alone and with his wife), and Seiwert were all photographed by Sander. Sander made several images of Hoerle, including one of the artist sketching, and a festive image of Hoerle in costume at the Kölner Lumpenbal (Sander became an enthusiastic chronicler of the artists’ yearly Mardi Gras revels). A photograph taken by Sander of the interior of his own studio shows his framed portrait of Hoerle hanging adjacent to that of Seiwert, alongside a painting by the latter (In Focus: August Sander, pl. 47).
Although nearly twenty years younger than Sander, Hoerle’s life paralleled the photographer’s in a number of ways. Both men 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. Hoerle published Krüppelmappe (1920), a portfolio of lithographs depicting the physical and psychological pain faced by crippled veterans. Both artists attracted the attention of the German authorities for their activities. In 1934, the Reich Chamber of Arts ordered the destruction of the printing plates of Sander’s book of portraits Antlitz der Zeit, and the seizure of all copies, and effectively halted his picture-making. Hoerle, whose work had been purchased by German museums in the 1920s, was branded a ‘degenerate’ artist in the 1930s. His work was shown in the 1933 Kulturbolschewistische Bilder (Images of Cultural Bolshevism) exhibition organized by the Nazis in Mannheim, and in the now-infamous Entartete Kunst (Degenerate Art) exhibition held in Munich in 1937.
At this writing, it is believed that only one other early print of this image has appeared at auction, a variant cropping sold in New York in 2008.
Please call 1-800-555-5555 to order a print catalog for this sale.
Online Registration to Bid is Closed for this Sale. Would you like to watch the live sale?Watch Live Sale