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27 OCTOBER 2012

Kurt Kranz: programming of beauty

Kurt Kranz: Programming of beauty, Exhibition marking the 100th birthday of Kurt Kranz
19th November 2010 to 29th May 2011.

"Inspired by a lecture by László Moholy–Nagy, Kurt Kranz came to the Bauhaus Dessau in April 1930. In Walter Peterhans's photography class, Kranz began to experiment with photographic techniques and created some of the most striking abstract picture series to emerge from the Bauhaus. Alienated and abstracted faces and hands appear repeatedly in his dynamic picture series. These show Kranz's early affinity for film as, page for page, the abstract forms interact with one another. Kranz drafted his first concepts for abstract films at the Bauhaus, although he was first able to realise these decades later in 1972.

The exhibition to mark the artist's 100th birthday shows works from Kranz's Bauhaus years and his later work as an advertising graphic designer, and focuses on a selection of his large picture cycles. Strikingly diverse leporellos dating from the 1960s onwards take centre stage, as do the so–called 'Matrix– und Schiebebilder'."

(Bauhaus Dessau Foundation)

Fig.1 Kurt Kranz, Versinkende (Sinking one), 1931, Ingrid Kranz / Stiftung Bauhaus Dessau [–kurt–kranz–programming–of–beauty–at–the–bauhaus–dessau/].



1931 • abstract films • abstract forms • abstract picture series • advertising graphic designer • Bauhaus DessauBauhaus Schoolcut-outdesign formalismface • Kurt Kranz • Laszlo Moholy-Nagy • leporello • photocollagephotographic experimentationphotographic image • photographic techniques • photographyphotomontage • picture cycles • picture series • sinking • visual communication • Walter Peterhans


Simon Perkins
11 APRIL 2011

Onscreen discussion of the ontology of the photographic image

"The film commences with a fast moving introduction to the very stylish world of a hot fashion photographer, Thomas, played by that emblematic '60s actor, David Hemmings. This is the world made notorious by magazines like Tatler and Queen as well as all the tabloids of the world, all Pucci fashion, dolly birds (Jane Birkin made her name in this film), drugs, fast cars and rock–and–roll. ...

Throughout Blow Out and Blowup there is always a sense in which recording media themselves are seen as, somehow, treacherous. Antonioni's Blowup forcefully reminds us that even the latest technologies can mislead or betray us. In the computer age, it this remaining element of ontological uncertainty that still troubles the human observer–for we are not, quite yet, masters of information"

(Jonathan Dawson, February 2005, Senses of Cinema)








1960s1966 • Blow Out (1981) • Blow-Up (1966) • Carlo Ponti • casual sexcontextcoolcountercultureDavid Bailey • David Hemmings • diegetic sound • Edward Bond • fashionfashion modelfashion photographerfashion photography • fashion shoot • feature filmfilm grainHerbie Hancockhuman perception • Jane Birkin • John Castle • Julio Cortazar • layeringLondonmake-upMichelangelo Antonionimod fashionmurderobscured view • ontology of the photographic image • photographphotographer • photographers studio • photographic blow-upsphotographic image • Sarah Miles • Senses of Cinema (journal)sixtiessixties cool • swinging sixties • The Yardbirds • Tonino Guerra • transparency • transparent layers • truth of perception • Tsai Chin Gillian Hills • Vanessa Redgrave • Vera Grafin von Lehndorff-Steinort • Veruschka von Lehndorff • whole is other than the sum of the parts • young lovers


Simon Perkins
25 MARCH 2011

Photorealism: a reaction to the detachment of Minimalism and conceptual art

"Chuck Close is associated with the style of painting called Photorealism or Superrealism. In this style, artists in the early 1970s created a link between representational systems of painting and photography. Photorealism developed as a reaction to the detachment of Minimalism and conceptual art, which did not depict representational images. Photorealists frequently used a grid technique to enlarge a photograph and reduce each square to formal elements of design. Each grid was its own little work of art. Many of the Photorealists used the airbrush technique.

Big Self–Portrait, in black and white, was the first of Close's mural–sized works painted from photographs. This painting took four months to complete. To make this work, Close took several photographs of himself in which his head and neck filled the frame. From these he selected one of the images and made two 11 x 14–inch enlargements. On one of the photographs he drew a grid, then lettered and numbered each square. Using both the gridded and ungridded photographs, he carefully transferred the photographic image square by square onto a large canvas measuring 107 1/2 x 83 1/2 inches. He used acrylic paint and an airbrush to include every detail.

When Close was making his painting he was concerned with the visual elements––shapes, textures, volume, shadows, and highlights––of the photograph itself. He also was interested in how a photograph shows some parts of the image in focus, or sharp, and some out–of–focus, or blurry. In this portrait the tip of the cigarette and the hair on the back of his head were both out–of–focus in the photograph so he painted them that way in Big Self–Portrait."

(ArtsNet Minnesota)

Fig.1 Chuck Close 'Big Self–Portrait', 1968 acrylic on canvas 107 1/2 x 83 1/2 in. Walker Art Center



1970s • acrylic • Big Self-Portrait • black and whiteblurry • Chuck Close • conceptual artcraftdesign formalism • enlargement • focus • grid technique • grisaille • hyperrealismminimalismout-of-focusphotographphotographic imagephotographyphotorealismportraitrepresentationrepresentational systemsscale • sharp focus • superrealism • techniquevisual elementsWalker Art Center


Simon Perkins

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