GEISTESARBEITER DES PROLETARIATS (PROLETARIAN INTELLECTUALS)
credit, reduction notations, and '15' in pencil, '1' in red ink, and stamped '71/6 F' on the reverse, circa 1925
6⅝ by 6⅛ in. (16.8 by 15.6 cm.)
This scarce early print, on stiff double-weight paper with a semi-glossy surface, is in generally very good condition. It is trimmed to the image. There is minuscule edge chipping and corner wear, including what appears to be a small clamp impression at the lower left corner. Only visible when examined closely in high raking light are hairline scratches and some areas of insignificant rubbing.
On the reverse of the print is inactive adhesive residue indicating that this photograph was previously affixed to a mount. There are 3 small, blue paper remnants in the lower right and upper corners. 'August Sander' and 'Koll. Arntz' are in unidentified hands in pencil.
The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot provided by Sotheby's. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colours and shades which are different to the lot's actual colour and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation because Sotheby's is not a professional conservator or restorer but rather the condition report is a statement of opinion genuinely held by Sotheby's. For that reason, Sotheby's condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE INCLUDED IN THE CATALOGUE.
The photographer to Gerd Arntz, 1920s or early 1930s
By descent to the present owners
Gerd Arntz: Kritische grafiek en beeldstatisiek (The Hague: Gemeentemuseum, 1976), p. 29
Zeitgenossen: August Sander und Kunstszene der 20er Jahre im Rheinland (Göttingen, 2000), p. 216 (variant cropping)
The photograph offered here depicts Else Schuler, Tristan Rémy, Franz W. Seiwert, and Gerd Arntz, all of whom were associated with the avant-garde ‘Cologne Progressives.’ This image is included in ‘Working Types – Physical and Intellectual,’ a subcategory of images in Sander’s Menschen des 20. Jahrhunderts (Citizens of the Twentieth Century), a monument in the history of photography.
Although a photographer known for his straightforward documentary style, Sander’s association and friendship with this radical group of artists and writers ran deep. Sander advertised his studio in a bis z, the progressive art ‘zine founded in 1929 by Siewert, and his photographs of artists feature in both Menschen des 20. Jahrhunderts and its precursor, Antlitz der Zeit (Face of the Time). A catalogue for the 1926 exhibition, Neue Kunst, Alte Kunst, reproduced Sander’s portraits of the exhibiting artists, including those of Seiwert and Arntz, as well as his photographs of their art.
No other early print of this image has appeared at auction. Sander’s home studio in Cologne was destroyed in a 1944 air raid, and surviving early prints are scarce. The image is primarily known through reproduction and through posthumous prints.