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August Sander
August Sander
August Sander

August Sander

Country: Germany
Birth: 1876 | Death: 1964

August Sander (17 November 1876 – 20 April 1964) was a German portrait and documentary photographer. Sander's first book Face of our Time (German: Antlitz der Zeit) was published in 1929. Sander has been described as "the most important German portrait photographer of the early twentieth century." Sander was born in Herdorf, the son of a carpenter working in the mining industry. While working at a local mine, Sander first learned about photography by assisting a photographer who was working for a mining company. With financial support from his uncle, he bought photographic equipment and set up his own darkroom. He spent his military service (1897–99) as a photographer's assistant and the next years wandering across Germany.

In 1901, he started working for a photo studio in Linz, Austria, eventually becoming a partner (1902), and then its sole proprietor (1904). He left Linz at the end of 1909 and set up a new studio in Cologne. In 1911, Sander began with the first series of portraits for his work People of the 20th Century. In the early 1920s, he came in contact with the Group of Progressive Artists (Kölner Progressive) in Cologne, a group as Wieland Schmied put it, "sought to combine constructivism and objectivity, geometry and object, the general and the particular, avant-garde conviction and political engagement, and which perhaps approximated most to the forward looking of New Objectivity [...] ". In 1927, Sander and writer Ludwig Mathar travelled through Sardinia for three months, where he took around 500 photographs. However, a planned book detailing his travels was not completed.

Sander's Face of our Time was published in 1929. It contains a selection of 60 portraits from his series People of the 20th Century. Under the Nazi regime, his work and personal life were greatly constrained. His son Erich, who was a member of the left wing Socialist Workers' Party (SAP), was arrested in 1934 and sentenced to 10 years in prison, where he died in 1944, shortly before the end of his sentence. Sander's book Face of our Time was seized in 1936 and the photographic plates destroyed. Around 1942, during World War II, he left Cologne and moved to a rural area, allowing him to save most of his negatives. His studio was destroyed in a 1944 bombing raid. Sander died in Cologne in 1964. His work includes landscape, nature, architecture, and street photography, but he is best known for his portraits, as exemplified by his series People of the 20th Century. In this series, he aims to show a cross-section of society during the Weimar Republic. The series is divided into seven sections: The Farmer, The Skilled Tradesman, Woman, Classes and Professions, The Artists, The City, and The Last People (homeless persons, veterans, etc.). By 1945, Sander's archive included over 40,000 images.

In 2002, the August Sander Archive and scholar Susanne Lange published a seven-volume collection comprising some 650 of Sander's photographs, August Sander: People of the 20th Century. In 2008, the Mercury crater Sander was named after him. (Source: wikipedia.org)
 

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Deborah Turbeville
United States
1938 | † 2013
Deborah Turbeville was born in 1938, in Boston. Summers were spent in Ogunquit, Maine. 'Beautiful Place by the Sea' is the oceanside township's motto. 'Very bleak, very stark, very beautiful,' was Turbeville's description of it. Life was comfortable - she went to private school. Yet her mother described her as a 'shy and scary child'. Which is as it should be. The uneasy shuffle of ambiguity is the essence of Turbeville and her work - which itself shuffles between fashion magazine and art gallery, never fully at peace in either place. Like her near contemporaries, Helmut Newton and Guy Bourdin, she rethought and recast fashion photography in the 1970s. Perhaps even more than those two louche Europeans, though, she injected narrative and mystery into what is, after all, an unabashedly commercial process. Her pictures are as much riddles as they are images. Consciously damaged goods, they are blurry, grainy, tormented into painterly colours, scratched, marked, sellotaped - post-production work often done with her long-term assistant and collaborator Sharon Schuster. 'I destroy the image after I've made it,' said Turbeville. 'Obliterate it a little so you never have it completely there.' It's a quite un-American world, a view through the rear window, fascinated by the beaten, worn and forgotten. She has photographed her own house in Mexico as if she were a time-travelling visitor in her own intimate landscape, slightly drunk in exploration and contemplation of the rooms and their objects - tin retablos, wooden boxes, a painted carving of the Virgin Saint Maria Candelaria. She has photographed old Newport and the lost St Petersburg. One of her books was called 'Les Amoureuses du Temps Passe' - (female) lovers of times past. 'The idea of disintegration is really the core of my work.' When Jackie Onassis commissioned her to photograph the unseen Versailles, the late president's wife urged the photographer to 'evoke the feeling that there were ghosts and memories.' Turbeville began by researching the palace's 'mistresses and discarded mistresses', then photographed not just the palace's grand chambers and vistas but its store rooms and attics. She came to photography late. Arriving in New York at 19, with dreams of a stage career, she worked as a model and assistant to Claire McCardell - the fashion designer who brought wool jersey and denim to the catwalk. She joined Harper's Bazaar in 1963, working with its fashion editor, Marvin Israel, and his crew of photographers which included Diane Arbus, Richard Avedon and Hiro. She took her first pictures in Yugoslavia in 1966. They were blurry. She showed them to Avedon. He liked them, blurs and all. So he taught her technique. In 1972, she became a photographer. Like other adventurous photographers of the era, she worked for Nova magazine. She took some pictures for Vogue of girls in bikinis at a cement works. 'The most revolutionary pictures of the time,' said Conde Nast's editorial director Alexander Liberman. The work that made her name was the 'bathhouse' series she took for American Vogue in 1975 - fashion photographs of barely dressed women, wet and languid, almost kitsch. The oddest thing, though, is the sense that the women are prisoners - of what is not clear, of course. It's been said they look like they're in gas chambers. 'I go into a women's private world, where you never go,' Turbeville said. 'It's a moment frozen in time. I like to hear a clock ticking in my pictures.' If one of photography's most honourable impulses is to subvert - or flee from - the medium's inherent voyeurism, Turbeville collapses this paradox by succumbing to it. Victorian academic paintings presented unclothed women in bathing pools as if the painter were not there - the illusion of pornography. Turbeville's naked, wet women are under no such illusion. They know the photographer is there. They acknowledge her presence. They maybe even watch us, the viewer. The bathouse pictures were collected, with others, in her 1978 book 'Wallflower' - arrestingly and sympathetically designed by her mentor, Israel. In it are all the essentials of her work: a feeling that you are somewhere in the past; a languid, barely sexual sexuality; white, willowy women; distressed prints; a luminous quality; a sense of a narrative interrupted. Yet she's a jobbing photographer, too. She's worked for American Vogue and its British, French, Italian, and Russian counterparts. She's done ads for Ungaro, editorial photographic essays for Harper's Bazaar and portraits of Julia Roberts for the New York Times Magazine. She wears black, mostly. She has reddish hair. She has homes in Mexico, New York and Russia. She teaches in Russia. She's been married at least once. When she lived in Paris, at the turn of the 1980s, she'd rummage through the streets every evening, between 6 and 8 o'clock. 'I'm a voyeur,' she said. (Source: Pete Silverton - www.professionalphotographer.co.uk)
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Jennifer Little
United States
1977
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1954
Cindy Sherman was born in 1954 in Glen Ridge, New Jersey. Sherman earned a BA from Buffalo State College, State University of New York (1976). In self-reflexive photographs and films, Cindy Sherman invents myriad guises, metamorphosing from Hollywood starlet to clown to society matron. Often with the simplest of means—a camera, a wig, makeup, an outfit—Sherman fashions ambiguous but memorable characters that suggest complex lives that exist outside of the frame. Leaving her works untitled, Sherman refuses to impose descriptive language on her images—relying instead on the viewer’s ability to develop narratives, as an essential component of appreciating the work. While rarely revealing her private intentions, Sherman’s investigations have a compelling relationship to public images, from kitsch (film stills and centerfolds) to art history (Old Masters and Surrealism) to green-screen technology and the latest advances in digital photography. Sherman’s exhaustive study of portraiture and self-portraiture—often a playful mixture of camp and horror, heightened by gritty realism—provides a new lens through which to examine societal assumptions surrounding gender and the valuation of concept over style. Among her awards are the Guild Hall Academy of the Arts Lifetime Achievement Award for Visual Arts (2005); American Academy of Arts and Sciences Award (2003); National Arts Award (2001); a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Award (1995); and others. Her work has appeared in major exhibitions at Sprüth Magers, Berlin (2009); Jeu de Paume, Paris (2006); the Museum of Modern Art, New York (1997); and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (1997); among others. Sherman has participated in many international events, including SITE Santa Fe (2004); the Venice Biennale (1982, 1995); and five Whitney Biennial exhibitions. Cindy Sherman lives and works in New York.
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