100 years of bauhaus II: DAS WATT: David Batchelder | Alfred Ehrhardt

April 26 to July 7, 2019

Curator: Dr. Christiane Stahl
Opening: Friday, April 25, 2019, 7-9 pm

Alfred Ehrhardt’s first major photographic work DAS WATT (The Tidelands) (1933–1936) is an ode to nature. It is among the most outstanding visual achievements of the avant-garde photography of the 1930s and represents the crème de la crème of his photographic oeuvre. The artistic quality of this series remains unequalled, even among the masters of New Objectivity photography. Created during Josef Albers’s preliminary course at the Bauhaus in Dessau, the work reveals Ehrhardt’s fascination with the structures in the sand that emerged every day anew, formed by wind and water. These reminded him of his teachings on the nature of materials, in which his students were required to learn to discern the “structure, texture, and consistency” of materials. Ehrhardt’s concept for the image series was to look for the natural laws in the synergy of nature’s forces by comparing the form variations created anew each day. His typology of sandy-reef formations suggests a conscious connection between microcosm and macrocosm.

In contrast to Alfred Ehrhardt, US photographer David Batchelder (b. 1939) purposely uses a digital camera to coax astounding sand formations out of the coastlines of the Isle of Palms near his hometown of Charleston, South Carolina.

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