Nadine Dinter PR is an owner-managed agency for media relations, PR consulting, and art administration. With its special focus on photography, Nadine Dinter PR supports cultural institutions in Germany and beyond, including museums, galleries, foundations, festivals, and private collections. The Berlin-based agency also works across a variety of sectors in the fields of contemporary art, lifestyle, and art & commerce.
BEUYS BLEIBT / BEUYS. A Close-Up
On 12 May 2021, legendary artist Joseph Beuys (1921–1986), considered both a saint and a heretic of the art world, would have been 100 years old. In honour of his centenary, the book “Beuys bleibt / Beuys – A Close Up” by esteemed German photographer Michael Ruetz (*1940), will be published in January 2021, shedding new light on the myth of Beuys. In the early 1970s, Michael Ruetz decided to document “the unique phenomenon of Beuys in greater detail than ever before, in the interest of history.” Unlike the many “journalists, photographers, devotees, and art collectors, who all wanted and expected something from Beuys,” Ruetz pursued a different goal. What he was interested in was “detailed observation,” in order to “explore the actual person behind the all too familiar figure of Beuys,” about which there was already exhaustive literature. Ruetz got to know Beuys through mutual friends. “After a while, Beuys invited me of his own accord to accompany him, here and there. [...] The pictures produced on the fly were not intended for publication in the near future, but for posterity and Beuys’s own purposes at the most.” Beuys bleibt / Beuys – A Close Up naturally includes classic portraits of the artist “with his trademark accessories: axe, hat, waistcoat.” Ruetz also produced iconic images of Beuys during his ritualistic performance, Celtic, during which the artist presented “a paraphrase of baptism, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and crucifixion, with the help of snow and ice in a cold concrete basin.” A similarly compelling spectacle was at the boxing match that took place as part of the legendary documenta 5 in 1972 in Kassel, between Joseph Beuys and the young art student, Abraham David Christian. Beuys knew better than anyone else how to stage himself in the limelight and in front of the cameras. But Ruetz’s photographs penetrate this facade and testify to his own sense for the right moment and situations, and his keen eye for people. In these images it is Beuys’s body language that immediately catches the eye. “Whether Beuys acts as a performer, sketches an idea on the dark studio floor with light-colored chalk, pauses with a pencil over his notebook, sits lost in thought, with his mouth half open, with his finger on the piano keys, or looks inside himself; whether he fixes his opponent in a boxing match with a friendly look, is quietly amused, or laughs at the top of his lungs with an empty bottle of soda in his raised hand: [Beuys’s] gestures and facial expressions have a certain fascination, which is not least due to the moment in which [Ruetz] took the photograph.” (Werner Heegewaldt)...
Larry Fink – Retrospective
Larry Fink (*1941) has devoted 65 years of his life to photography. His work has been featured in solo exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum in New York, among others. Galerie Bene Taschen is pleased to present a retrospective with a selection of photo series, including The Vanities, Social Graces, The Beats, Somewhere There’s Music, and Boxing Images. Fink gathered his first photographic experiences in New York and later relocated from Brooklyn to Pennsylvania. Attending The New School for Social Research in New York City sparked his interest in sociological perspectives. People are at the heart of Fink’s work. His photo books focus thematically on the different social groups he has depicted. The Vanities brings together images of Hollywood celebrities at parties, which Fink captured over the years as either an invited guest or official photographer. His role is that of a silent observer, standing on the sidelines. Documenting the partygoers’ interactions, he captures precious moments of intimacy: a glance over the shoulder, a smile, an insecure gesture. People enveloped in diffuse light are brought to the fore by the accentuated lighting. It is not their social status, but more subtle details that are conveyed, such as attire and attitude. Instead of being stylized from a distance and elevated to icons, they are depicted in banal situations. In addition to Hollywood parties, Fink also photographed society’s elite at art openings, galas, and private receptions. In Social Graces, these works are juxtaposed with images he took of the Sabatines, a working-class family living in the rural town of Martins Creek, Pennsylvania. Details from ordinary life – from a cake celebrating a child’s 8th birthday to a plate of spaghetti – hint at the different family occasions. In bringing together these two vastly different worlds, Fink gives us a non-judgmental picture of society’s different facets.
René Groebli. Master of Colour
The extensive and diverse oeuvre of the Swiss photographer René Groebli (*1927) can hardly be reduced to one style. Always daring to do something new, he set new standards in photography. His passion for experimentation is particularly evident in his color photography. These “magical pictures” challenge conventional ways of seeing, through their play with perspective, composition, defamiliarization, but above all through the use of various photographic techniques. At a time when black and white was still considered the “colors of photography”, Groebli’s work was pioneering. His photographs tell the story of color photography and its acceptance as an artistic medium. René Groebli was born in Zurich in 1927. After an apprenticeship as a photographer with Theo Vonow, he studied under Hans Finsler, a proponent of New Objectivity who established the first photography class at the Zurich School of Applied Arts. Groebli soon realized that New Objectivity was not his visual language, and after half a year switched to film, where he trained as a documentary cameraman. Dissatisfied with merely serving as a “henchman” in that field, however, René Groebli returned to photography. Working as a reportage photographer, he travelled in Africa and the Near and Middle East. In the mid-1950s, he founded his own photo studio for advertising and industrial photography in Zurich and specialized in color photography. He quickly made a name for himself, his reputation reaching far beyond the national borders. In 1957, he was praised as a “Master of Color” by the US magazine Popular Photography Color Annual. But René Groebli was best known for his black-and-white photographs. His first two photo books – Magie der Schiene (Rail Magic) and Das Auge der Liebe (The Eye of Love) include some of the artist’s best-known motifs today. In 1981, Groebli sold his commercial photo studio but continued to work as an artist, producing photo books and working on his image archive. Groebli’s works not only push boundaries in terms of content but also with regard to the medium of photography, attesting to its mutability. For Groebli, it is about “translating ideas in a young and thus surprising medium: To think, steer and stage color." (Hans-Michael Koetzle) The darkroom in particular played an important role for the artist. His images were not created primarily at the moment of taking the picture, but rather through what could amount to hours of editing, using a wide variety of techniques. What is achieved through Photoshop and a few mouse clicks today, Groebli realized in analogue form years before digitalization. In this way he created ever new compositions of visual motifs and colors, montages with unconventional, associative perspectives. The exhibition presents the different techniques that the artist used in his color photographs. With colored light, for example, Groebli transformed somber factories and their technical operations into unique and unexpected places. By using color in a subjective way, he created particular atmospheres or underscored the deeper message of his images. Particularly striking are his color portraits, which are limited to a few bold colors. In this case, the dye transfer process is used to break down the images by means of color separation into individual primary colors, which can be influenced and manipulated separately. “This can be done through special masking, mechanical or photographic screening, and changing the structure, through inversion, solarization, switching colors or visual elements, etc.” (René Groebli) The photographs are reminiscent of Andy Warhol’s screenprints, which were made around the same time. Other portraits by Groebli look like paintings or reliefs. His portrait of Aja Iskander Schmidlin, for example, depicts the painter as if he had painted his own self-portrait with a paintbrush. For yet other works – such as René Groebli’s New York series – the artist constructed a “box of wonders” in which he used semi-transparent mirrors and lighting to combine several photographs into one image. (Text: Mona Mathé)
America 1970s/80s. Hofer. Metzner. Meyerowitz. Newton.
As of 9 October 2020, the Helmut Newton Foundation in Berlin presents its new exhibition “America 1970s/80s” with works by Evelyn Hofer, Sheila Metzner, Joel Meyerowitz, and Helmut Newton. After taking a full-time position with the French edition of Vogue in 1961, Helmut Newton worked in parallel for the fashion magazine’s American edition as well. During this time, he produced images in both Europe and the USA. In New York, Newton delivered his photographs directly to Alexander Liberman, who was the editorial director of American Vogue from the 1960s to the 1990s – not to mention a successful painter, sculptor, and photographer himself. Newton liked the United States and the sense of freedom it offered, and he regularly commuted between the Old and New Worlds. In the 1970s, most of Newton’s American fashion and nude photographs were shot in New York, Las Vegas, Miami, and Los Angeles for various magazines; Newton included some of these in his second photography book, Sleepless Nights (1978). After 1980, when Helmut and June Newton began traveling regularly to Los Angeles to spend the winter months at Chateau Marmont, he made numerous portraits of the “famous and infamous” in and around Hollywood for magazines such as Egoïste, Interview, Vanity Fair, and New Yorker, as well as some nudes for Playboy. The images presented in this exhibition clearly show how Newton’s pictorial language changed during his time in the USA and that portraiture became increasingly important for him...
EROS & PHOTOGRAPHY
Following the completion of an elaborate extension and renovation work in 2019/2020, the renowned exhibition space CHAUSSEE 36 in the heart of Berlin-Mitte will re-launch with two top-class exhibitions – which could not be more different. The group exhibition Behind Desire takes a critical look at the notion of eroticism shaped by patriarchy. Thematically, it follows the spring 2019 exhibition, Women on View – Aesthetics of Desire in Advertising, in which CHAUSSEE 36 critically examined the eroticization of women’s bodies in advertising. Behind Desire marks the start of the exhibition series EROS & PHOTOGRAPHY and introduces the multifaceted, complex, and powerful implications of eroticism. The exhibition not only aims to foster a comprehensive understanding of eroticism through an aesthetic investigation of the topic, but also to enable visitors to confront their own Eros, looking beyond gender and sexual orientation. In a world in which sex is available with a swipe of a finger and pornography has become omnipresent – what is the significance of eroticism? The group exhibition Behind Desire – with works by Nobuyoshi Araki, Gilles Berquet, Lucien Clergue, Mona Kuhn, Daidō Moriyama, Herb Ritts, Jeanloup Sieff, Evangeline, Eva Ionesco, and Ellen von Unwerth, as well as De Gambs, Thomas Hodges, and Gérard Musy, among others – introduces the various facets of eroticism and examines the mechanisms of desire in fine art photography. For the first time, works will be shown from the Collection de Gambs, which specializes in nudes and erotic photography...
Save The Dates
as of 27 January 2021 (further changes are subject to the continuing lockdown) // Galerie Bene Taschen, Cologne
January 2021 // David Drebin