Salzburg is currently celebrating the distinct work of photographer Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and his contributions to photographic styles in the show The Painter as Photographer at the Museum der Moderne, running through 16 June.
Born in Aschaffenburg, Kirchner grew up in a time and society in which photography was becoming the mainstream medium of reproduction. Kirchner was introduced to photography in 1908, presumably through his friend Emy Frisch, a photographer. He taught Kirchner the photographic technique and handling glass plates. Kirchner would take several portraits and landscapes taken in Dresden, Berlin, and sometimes Fehmarn. When he moved to Davos, Kirchner shifted his style and focus on the theme of rural living. For Kirchner, the camera was both a tool for art and inventory and documenting also his paintings and sculptures.
Exhibition curator and museum director Thorsten Sadowsky further described him:
“Kirchner did not think of his photography as fine art, but he extensively explored the medium’s possibilities. Working with the camera spurred his creative imagination and helped him devise compositional solutions; his art conversely reflects the vision of an inventory of the world in the photographic image.”
Not only that, but Kirchner also used photography as a tool for self-portrayal as a bohemian avant-garde artist. His nervous breakdown during his military service prompted him to journey through German and Swiss sanatoriums, resulting in a number of visuals in his personal archive where Kirchner goes "native" in the Alpine environment.
The exhibition is currently featuring 300 works from the artist, many of them coming from Kirchner's personal archives which would reveal vintage and modern prints and case-bound photo albums of his various artworks and images. Kirchner proves to be one of the artists who used photography to make his work accessible -- making it possible for people to celebrate not only his life as a photographer but also as an artist using several tools of the trade.
Images are from the press kit. For more details and information about the exhibition, visit the Museum der Moderne's website.