Monday, March 26, 2012

Gallery Visit: Pinakothek der Moderne

Yesterday I finally got of my backside and decided to do something with my Sunday versus the usual loafing around the house.  A new exhibition at the Pinakothek Der Moderne, "True Stories", featuring original work by Robert Adams, Lewis Baltz, Larry Clark, Lee Friedlander, Garry Winogrand, William Eggleston and Stephen Shore was more than enough encouragement.  I also wanted to take another look at their modern art collection in light of the investigation I have been doing into the influence of art on Andreas Gursky's photographs.  The clincher was the 1 Euro entry price on Sundays.

True Stories

The was photographic bliss, not only a chance to see the real work behind so many books in my library, but all together in what is also a photographic wonderland:

However, it was the photographs I went to see:






This was the first time I had seen original works by many of these artists and it was also fascinating to see them alongside one another, seeing the mutual influences, but also their different takes on modern American life, well that of the 1960's in fact.  The set of images by Larry Clark, Tulsa, were in many respect the most interesting.  I do not have the book, but know it to be a deeply insightful record of a very shocking lifestyle, small town drugs, guns, and sex.  While I contemplated this display, about 18 fairly small images I watched the reaction of people getting in close, shock was the main expression.  The most terrifying shot was a pregnant women injecting heroin, adjacent to a photo of a dead baby in a small coffin.  This was documentary photography at its very best, in close, personal and very revealing - a story was told, not one we might wish to see, but perhaps one we should see.

As my internal debate rages about which course to do next, PWDP or Social Documentary, it is the work of the American photographers of the 1960's that excites me and pulls me in the direction of the latter course.  The counter issue is the seemingly strong emphasis of getting very close to the subject, Larry Clark versus Stephen Shore.  I am more with the New Topologists and their take on social documentary than that of the photographers that chose to deeply involve themselves with their subjects.  This gallery provided useful food for thought.

My other reason for the visit (in addition to the very nice 60 minute walk) was to take a look at some modern art.  I have only captured two works on camera, the first by Palermo.  Here I see structure and shape building towards such images as Rhein II, although my knowledge of this work is not yet strong enough to make much more comment, other than to say that I very much like this type of modern art, simple, yet powerful.

The other piece that caught my imagination was the following.  500 Japanese steel workers were given a foil wrapped chocolate bar and then asked to create something out of the foil wrapper.  These were then arranged on a white table against a grey backdrop.  The repetition of form contrasting the individuality of each piece, coupled with the collective creation makes this very powerful.  Again I like the geometric simplicity.

Visiting the Pinakothek der Moderne I always find something new about the building to photograph.  This time it was looking down from the Rotunda to the grey floor that sits between the entrance and the galleries, The entrance is a wide circle topped by a glass dome supported by highly geometric structural beams.  In the center of the floor is a small circular metal plate that signifies the center of the floor space.  This is the only feature visible through a 35mm focal length lens, that is until people walk into view.

This is very different from what I was working on earlier in the weekend, combining multiple people into a single frame.  Here the fascination was trying to capture different patterns created as people cross a floor space.  This is an idea for some work that could map neatly into Social Documentary, how people interact with buildings and in particular art galleries.  I have done something similar for People and Place.  What was really quite impressive this weekend, was my camera.  I set the Fuji X100 to silent shooting, wow, I really had to check that thing had taken an image it was so quiet, what a tool for the anonymous shooter, plus the high ISO capability is simply stunning.

MY final shot is one I can never resist when leaving the museum.  I have shot this building so many times, The Brandhorst Museum.  However, it was a chance to try the colour on my new X100.  Enough said I think

All in all a good day and one that will be repeated before the True Stories exhibit finishes at the end of September.  Now, should I get a copy of Tulsa or not?

No comments:

Post a Comment