The Wadden Sea / The Curonian Spit, 1933 - 1937

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The Curonian Spit 1934

In the summer of 1934 Ehrhardt took his Zeiss-Icon for 6 x 9 cm negatives on a photo excursion to the dunes of the Curonian Spit in what was then East Prussia. After the big success of his photographs from the mudflats, the Hamburger Kunstgewerbeverein organised a second exhibition of the newly taken photographs titled Wind und Sand in March 1937. As in the previous year, about 100 photographs were exhibited. After the first stop in the Museum Folkwang in Essen, the show moved to other German cities. In the following year, the accompanying photo book Die Kurische Nehrung was published by Heinrich Ellermann Verlag.

While in the mudflats Ehrhardt had concentrated mainly on the abstract variations of sand structures, here at the Curonian Spit he turned his attention to the greater form of the landscape. The major part of the photographs shows the geographic context and at the same time it interprets the "essentiality" of these unique dune landscape of huge, permanently moving masses of sand at the sea are. To make the viewer experience the impact of a landscape, he often uses a diogonal line in his composition, which leads from bottom left to the center of the image. The look of the viewer follows this line into the life of the image; the viewer physically "walks through" as well as "experiences" the landscape.

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