Fotostiftung Schweiz is currently hosting an exhibition of photographs by Hans Steiner. The exhibition, “Alles Wird Besser” (Things are Getting Better), mainly focuses on scenes of everyday life in Switzerland during the post-war era.
Stylistically, Hans Steiner’s oeuvre differs from that of his contemporaries. Whilst other photo-journalists stuck to strict reportage, many of Steiner’s photographs – especially works commissioned for advertising, are subtly composed and are characterised by a skilful handling of light and a concise pictorial idiom.
Hans Steiner did not pursue political or socio-critical objectives like other photo-reporters of his day. Whereas his contemporaries often sided with society’s outsiders or criticised social injustices, Steiner presented the more positive aspects of life, preferring to focus attention on minor events and phenomena that signify happiness in an otherwise hard, everyday life. Sports, cars, women, urban life, leisure activities, travel, flying or technical innovations play an important role in his work.
A symbol of Steiner’s optimism may well be the airplane rising into the sky, a motif of yearning that often recurs in his archive of about 100,000 contact prints.
Things Will Get Better – Photographs by Hans Steiner is open until the 9 October 2011 at Fotostiftung Schweiz, Grüzenstrasse 45, CH-8400 Winterthur (Zürich). For further info, visit: fotostiftung.ch.