Sander's Children

Figurative Photography in the Tradition of August Sander.

December 3, 2008 – January 17, 2009

Press Release

The exhibition "Sander's Children" looks at the significant and acknowledged influence August Sander has had on many photographers. Most active from 1914 to 1930, Sander's cool, objective style of portraiture anticipated work ranging from Irving Penn's "Small Trades" series to Richard Avedon's outdoor portraits and has continued to influence photographers to this day.

Sander's credo was simple: "I am not concerned with providing commonplace photographs like those made in the finer large-scale studios of the city, but simple, natural portraits that show the subjects in an environment corresponding to their own individuality."

Sander's monumental photographic project "Man of the Twentieth Century" sought to document the people and typologies of his native Westerwald. He photographed people from all walks of life and became best known for the straightforward full length portraits that recorded his subjects not only with great objectivity but also with a subtle artfulness and psychological depth that has made them the definitive template of what a photographic portrait should be.

The exhibition "Sander's Children" presents work by a selection of photographers who without exception can all recall how Sander's images were a formative influence on their style. Yet each photographer in the show has been able to create their own remarkably distinct style within this tradition. Taken over a period of six decades following Sander's active life as a photographer, the images are both a testament to the enduring legacy of Sander's seminal work and the robustness and extraordinary capacity for renewal of the medium.