Josef Breitenbach (1896 – 1984) Part I

Il a assisté au cours de philosophie et d’histoire de l’art à l’Université Ludwig-Maximilian à Munich  de 1914-1917 . Il devient durant cette période active dans la section de la jeunesse  du Parti social-démocrate. En 1918, il  participe à la Bavaroise, un coup d’Etat d’inspiration soviétique, qui était la première étincelle du feu révolutionnaire qui a déferlé sur l’Allemagne à la suite de l’armistice. Pendant  quelques mois, Josef Breitenbach a  occupé un poste officiel dans le nouveau gouvernement. Bien que la révolution fut de courte durée, les liens qu’il a forgé avec les milieux radicaux de l’intelligentsia de Munich  l’ont aidé , plus tard, à établir sa réputation en tant que photographe.

En 1932, Breitenbach ouvre son premier studio de photographie. Ses clients étaient des membres éminents de la bohème de Munich, (y compris les acteurs et actrices de la scène dans le théâtre de Munich.)  qui était alors un bastion des défenseurs des libertés et des personnes raffinées. Mais ce  monde a disparu en 1933 avec la prise de pouvoir d’Hitler.Plus que ses racines juives, le passé politique du photographe fait de  lui une cible à persécuter.  En Août 1933, avec son passeport, Breitenbach arrive en France, rejoignant d’autres exilés Allemands qui cherchent refuge à Paris.

La «révolution» surréaliste allait alors devenir dominante dans la scène artistique parisienne. Peu après son arrivée, Breitenbach est entré en contact avec André Breton et son entourage. Préférant conserver son indépendance, il n’a jamais été un membre du groupe surréaliste, mais a participé à des expositions importantes de la photographie surréaliste aux côtés de Man Ray, Jacques-André Boiffard, Brassaï, Eli Lotar, Henri Cartier-Bresson, et Roger Parry.

Je vous propose aujourd’hui de parcourir quelques facettes que Josef Breitenbach nous a laissées derrière lui. principalement ce qui fût le fruit de la rencontre avec les surréalistes et qui l’accompagna tout au long de son aventure . En passant par ses portraits, ses montages, collages, photogrammes, nus.

Josef Breitenbach-Exposition Internationale, Paris, vue de l'intérieur du Pavillon de la Suisse 1937 © The Josef Breitenbach Trust

Josef Breitenbach-Exposition Internationale, Paris, vue de l’intérieur du Pavillon de la Suisse 1937 © The Josef Breitenbach Trust

Josef Breitenbach- Exposition Internationale du Surréalisme, Galerie Beaux-Arts, Paris, 1938,  gelatin silver print  © The Josef Breitenbach Trust

Josef Breitenbach- Exposition Internationale du Surréalisme, Galerie Beaux-Arts, Paris, 1938, gelatin silver print © The Josef Breitenbach Trust

Breitenbach n’a vécu à Paris  que six ans, jusqu’à ce que la guerre  éclate en 1939, et pourtant, pendant cette période , il a produit certains de ses travaux les plus inventifs.  (Il a adopté plusieurs techniques favorisées par de nouveaux photographes tels que la surimpression, le montage, la solarisation, l’impression en négatif, et le photogramme. Plus important encore, il était l’un des rares artistes des années d’avant-guerre à produire des photographies en couleurs, ce qu’il a fait en utilisant des procédés tels que le blanchiment, la tonification et la pigmentation.)

Mais pendant ses années à Paris, il était aussi un membre actif de la communauté  Allemande en exil , qui a alerté le monde démocratique de la menace du fascisme. Il a participé à l’exposition 1938 par l’Union des Artistes Libres Allemandes, «Cinq ans de dictature hitlérienne ». Un moment fort pour Breitenbach fût sa collaboration avec Bertolt Brecht, résumée par des portraits de l’auteur.

 

Josef Breitenbach- For Ever and Ever, 1937 © The Josef Breitenbach Trust

Josef Breitenbach- For Ever and Ever, 1937 © The Josef Breitenbach Trust

Josef Breitenbach- For Ever and Ever, 1937 © The Josef Breitenbach Trust

Josef Breitenbach- For Ever and Ever, 1937 © The Josef Breitenbach Trust

Josef Breitenbach- For Ever and Ever, 1938

Josef Breitenbach- For Ever and Ever, 1938

Josef Breitenbach- Montparnasse, Paris, 1937, Vintage toned gelatin silver print © The Josef Breitenbach Trust

Josef Breitenbach- Montparnasse, Paris, 1937, Vintage toned gelatin silver print © The Josef Breitenbach Trust

Josef Breitenbach- Sibylle Binder, Munichc. 1933, © The Josef Breitenbach TrustVintage bromoil transfer

Josef Breitenbach- Sibylle Binder, Munichc. 1933, © The Josef Breitenbach TrustVintage bromoil transfer

Josef Breitenbach- Denkmal vor der Enthüllung, Paris,  Veiled Statue, Paris,  1933-39, Early gelatin silver print, printed ca. 1942-48 © The Josef Breitenbach Trust.

Josef Breitenbach- Denkmal vor der Enthüllung, Paris, Veiled Statue, Paris, 1933-39, Early gelatin silver print, printed ca. 1942-48 © The Josef Breitenbach Trust.

Josef Breitenbach-Photograph of the Scent Given Off by a Rose Petal photogravure. 1939  © The Josef Breitenbach Trust.

Josef Breitenbach-Photograph of the Scent Given Off by a Rose Petal photogravure. 1939 © The Josef Breitenbach Trust.

Josef Breitenbach- A small piece of camphor on the surface of mercury, 1937,  Munich,, Gelatin silver print© The Josef Breitenbach Trust.

Josef Breitenbach- A small piece of camphor on the surface of mercury, 1937, Munich,, Gelatin silver print© The Josef Breitenbach Trust.

Josef Breitenbach -modern female bust with hat, Paris - facing toward left], 1935

Josef Breitenbach -modern female bust with hat, Paris – facing toward left], 1935

Josef Breitenbach, Bust Coloré, Paris, 1935

Josef Breitenbach, Bust Coloré, Paris, 1935

Josef Breitenbach, Sculpture Academy, Paris 1935  © The Josef Breitenbach Trust

Josef Breitenbach, Sculpture Academy, Paris 1935 © The Josef Breitenbach Trust

Josef Breitenbach- © The Josef Breitenbach Trust. from Manifesto By Josef Breitenbach , Ed° Nazraeli Press , 2008

Josef Breitenbach- © The Josef Breitenbach Trust. from Manifesto By Josef Breitenbach , Ed° Nazraeli Press , 2008

Josef Breitenbach- Max Ernst and Dr. Riegler & J. Greno, Munich 1933 © The Josef Breitenbach Trust. from Manifesto By Josef Breitenbach , Ed° Nazraeli Press , 2008

Josef Breitenbach- Max Ernst and Dr. Riegler & J. Greno, Munich 1933 © The Josef Breitenbach Trust. from Manifesto By Josef Breitenbach , Ed° Nazraeli Press , 2008

Josef Breitenbach. Max Ernst and the seahorse, New York, 1942.

Josef Breitenbach. Max Ernst and the seahorse, New York, 1942.

Josef Breitenbach-The Hands of Max Ernst, 1942,     Silver print. Courtesy of mfa © The Josef Breitenbach Trust

Josef Breitenbach-The Hands of Max Ernst, 1942, Silver print. Courtesy of mfa © The Josef Breitenbach Trust

 

Josef Breitenbach- Bird, Photogram, hand colored gelatin silver print, 1948 © The Josef Breitenbach Trust

Josef Breitenbach- Bird, Photogram, hand colored gelatin silver print, 1948 © The Josef Breitenbach Trust

Josef Breitenbach-Untitled , photogram , hand-colored , 1940s © The Josef Breitenbach Trust

Josef Breitenbach-Untitled , photogram , hand-colored , 1940s © The Josef Breitenbach Trust

Josef Breitenbach-Untitled , photogram , hand-colored , 1940s  © The Josef Breitenbach Trust

Josef Breitenbach-Untitled , photogram , hand-colored , 1940s © The Josef Breitenbach Trust

Josef Breitenbach-Untitled , photogram , hand-colored , 1940s    © The Josef Breitenbach Trust

Josef Breitenbach-Untitled , photogram , hand-colored , 1940s © The Josef Breitenbach Trust

Josef Breitenbach- Fragrance of a Pink Rose, 1945,New York , Gelatin silver print © The Josef Breitenbach Trust.

Josef Breitenbach- Fragrance of a Pink Rose, 1945,New York , Gelatin silver print © The Josef Breitenbach Trust.

Josef Breitenbach-Carnation and Fragrance, 1940s  ,gelatin silver print, 1948 © The Josef Breitenbach Trust.

Josef Breitenbach-Carnation and Fragrance, 1940s ,gelatin silver print, 1948 © The Josef Breitenbach Trust.

Josef Breitenbach- Red Rose and Odor, 1940 ,Unknown color process © The Josef Breitenbach Trust

Josef Breitenbach- Red Rose and Odor, 1940 ,Unknown color process © The Josef Breitenbach Trust

Josef Breitenbach- Untitled photogram, 1948 © The Josef Breitenbach Trust

Josef Breitenbach- Untitled photogram, 1948 © The Josef Breitenbach Trust

Josef Breitenbach- Fireworks, photogram, 1949 gelatin silver print © The Josef Breitenbach Trust

Josef Breitenbach- Fireworks, photogram, 1949 gelatin silver print © The Josef Breitenbach Trust

Josef Breitenbach-untitled ( objects on a patterned ground, feather, clips, washers), 1954 © The Josef Breitenbach Trust

Josef Breitenbach-untitled ( objects on a patterned ground, feather, clips, washers), 1954 © The Josef Breitenbach Trust

Josef Breitenbach- Huntsman's Luck, photogram , New York, 1946-49,  gelatin silver print  © The Josef Breitenbach Trust

Josef Breitenbach- Huntsman’s Luck, photogram , New York, 1946-49, gelatin silver print © The Josef Breitenbach Trust

Josef Breitenbach-Untitled , photogram, 1940s

Josef Breitenbach-Untitled , photogram, 1940s

Josef Breitenbach-Untitled , photogram, 1940s © The Josef Breitenbach Trust

Josef Breitenbach-Untitled , photogram, 1940s © The Josef Breitenbach Trust

Josef Breitenbach-Untitled , photogram, 1940s © The Josef Breitenbach Trust

Josef Breitenbach-Untitled , photogram, 1940s © The Josef Breitenbach Trust

Josef Breitenbach-Untitled , photogram - newspaper fragments with double-sided text, leaves,1940s © The Josef Breitenbach Trust

Josef Breitenbach-Untitled , photogram, 1940s  © The Josef Breitenbach Trust

Josef Breitenbach-Untitled , photogram, 1940s © The Josef Breitenbach Trust

Josef Breitenbach-untitled , human circulatory system diagram, dark beach scene with wrecked boat,  1942  © The Josef Breitenbach Trust

Josef Breitenbach-untitled , human circulatory system diagram, dark beach scene with wrecked boat, 1942 © The Josef Breitenbach Trust

Josef Breitenbach-Untitled , human circulatory system diagram, wet beach sand with high sea horizon,  1942 © The Josef Breitenbach Trust

Josef Breitenbach-Untitled , human circulatory system diagram, wet beach sand with high sea horizon, 1942 © The Josef Breitenbach Trust

 

Josef Breitenbach-Fabric Abstraction, New York, 1948, Gelatin silver print© The Josef Breitenbach Trust.

Josef Breitenbach-Fabric Abstraction, New York, 1948, Gelatin silver print© The Josef Breitenbach Trust.

 

La guerre interrompit ce deuxième chapitre de la vie du photographe. Interné par les Français comme un étranger suspect, puis rédigé dans un corps civil composé d’étrangers, Breitenbach finalement échappé à la France  de Marseille en 1941 pour New York . Il parvient à retenir l’attention de Walker Evans, qui  publie ses travaux  dans Fortune .

À l’été 1944,  à l’invitation de Josef Albers,  Breitenbach enseigne la photographie au Black Mountain College.  En 1946, il est devenu un citoyen des États-Unis et a rejoint la faculté de la Cooper Union .

Breitenbach a continué à créer que qui etait distinctif et innovateur,comme un un groupe de  photographes sans l’appareil. Ces œuvres planent dans l’espace liminal entre le surréalisme et l’expressionnisme abstrait.

Les années 1950 et 1960 ont été des années d’intense activité pour Breitenbach.  Il a fait reportage photographique en Asie pour les Nations Unies et d’autres entreprises variées, documentant le travail des secours.

Il exposera ses photographies largement dans les Etats-Unis à partir des années 1940 jusqu’au milieu des années 1960, notamment au Museum of Modern Art et le Metropolitan Museum of Art.

You can see more on Gitterman Gallery

Des portraits du photographe par des anonymes ici  sur wordpress sur le blog  A la loupe

  Voir les résultats des actions le concernant sur Mutualart

Conseil de lecture  :

Manifesto By Josef Breitenbach , Ed° Nazraeli Press , 2008

Josef Breitenbach: by Josef Breitenbach Photographs and text (in German) by Josef Breitenbach. Essays (in German) by Peter C. Jones, and Others , Published on the occasion of the 1996-1997 exhibition Josef Breitenbach: Photographien at the Staatliche Galerie Moritzburg Halle and the Fotomuseum im Münchner Stadtmuseum, Ed° Schirmer-Mosel, 1996

Munich, Paris, New York Paperback – 2003 by Josef and Paul Berlanga, Exhibit Catalogue, edition Stephen Daiter Gallery, 2003

Josef Breitenbach » by Larisa Dryansky, Editions de l’Amateur, 2001

Cover of the Book "Josef Breitenbach" by Larisa Dryansky,  Editions de l'Amateur, 2001

Cover of the Book « Josef Breitenbach » by Larisa Dryansky, Editions de l’Amateur, 2001

English bio

Josef Breitenbach was born on the 3rd of April 1896. He attended Ludwig-Maximillian University in Munich (philosophy and art history, 1914 to 1917) and became active in the Youth Section and later the Pacifist wing of the Social Democratic Party. In 1918, he took part in the Soviet-inspired Bavarian coup d’état, which was the first spark of the revolutionary fire that swept over Germany in the wake of the armistice. For a few months, Breitenbach also occupied an official position in the new government. Although the revolution was short-lived, the ties he forged with the radical circles of Munich’s intelligentsia later helped him establish his reputation as a photographer.

In 1932, Breitenbach opened his first photographic studio. His clients were prominent members of Munich’s bohemia, including actors and actresses performing in the Munich theater. Munich was a stronghold of libertarians and refined people, whose spirit Breitenbach captured in theatrical portraits of his friend, the journalist Theo Riegler. This world vanished in 1933 with Hitler’s takeover.

More than his Jewish roots, the photographer’s political past made him a target for persecution. In August, 1933, with his passport , Breitenbach made his way to France , joining other German exiles seeking refuge in Paris.

The Surrealist “revolution” had by then become dominant in the Parisian art scene. Soon after his arrival, Breitenbach came into contact with André Breton and his circle. Preferring to retain his independence, he never became a member of the Surrealist group, but did show work in important exhibitions of Surrealist photography alongside Man Ray, Jacques-André Boiffard, Brassaï, Eli Lotar, Henri Cartier-Bresson, et Roger Parry.

Breitenbach only lived in Paris for six years, until the war broke out in 1939. During this period, he produced some of his most inventive work. He adopted several techniques favored by new photographers such as superimpression, montage, solarization, printing in negative, and the photogram. More importantly, he was one of the rare artists of the pre-War years to produce color photographs, which he did by using processes of bleaching, toning and pigmentation. Examples are the images “Montparnasse”, or Forever and Ever.

During his years in Paris, he was also an active member of the German exile community, which alerted the democratic world to the threat of fascism. He participated in the 1938 exhibition by the Union des Artistes Allemandes Libres, “Five Years of Hitler Dictatorship”. A high point for Breitenbach was his collaboration with Bertolt Brecht, summarized by portraits of the playwright. The war interrupted this second chapter of the photographer’s life. Interned by the French as a suspicious alien, then drafted into a civilian corps composed of foreigners, Breitenbach eventually escaped to New York from Marseille in 1941.He came to the attention of Walker Evans, who published his work in Fortune. In the summer of 1944, at the invitation of Josef Albers, Breitenbach taught photography at Black Mountain College. In 1946 he became a United States citizen and joined the faculty at Cooper Union and later The New School. Breitenbach continued to create distinctive and innovative work, including a striking group of camera-less photographs. These works hover in the liminal space between Surrealism and Abstract Expressionism. The 1950s and 1960s were years of intense activity for Breitenbach. He did photographic reportage in Asia for the United Nations and other varied businesses, documenting relief work. He exhibited his photographs extensively in the United States from the 1940s to the mid-1960s, including at the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

I proposed today to browse some facets Josef Breitenbach left us behind. This was mainly the result of the encounter with the Surrealists and accompanied throughout his adventure. Through his portraits, montages , collage, photogram , naked, and some memories , moreover

Lou LANDAUER (1897-1980)

Lou Landauer was a German woman photographer

« Lou Levi was born 1897 in Cologne where she grew up with her two sisters Stefani and Bella. At the age of 26, in 1923, Lou married the lawyer Georg Landauer (1895 – 1954). Landauer was an important Zionist politician who over the years had many central positions. After WWII he was involved in the reparation negotiations between Germany and the State of Israel.
After her marriage and training at the Trade Academy in Cologne in 1924, Lou Landauer appears to have developed an interest in photography and registered at the Staatliche Fotoschule München where her name is in the student list of 1928/29.

In 1930, she moved to Berlin, where she continued her photography studies possibly at the Lette-Verein. The archive of the Lette-Verein is unfortunately incomplete and there is no information regarding her time there. The magazine Life in Palastine, Nr. 22, 1946 refers to Lou Landauer as “…a former student of famous schools in Munich and Berlin”. The only existing document from her Berlin time is a photograph taken in her apartment which shows her together with her parents.

In 1934 she and her husband emigrated together with her parents to Palastine. As of 1933 her husband Georg was the director of the German department of the Jewish Agency for Palestine and director of the Central Bureau for the Settlement of German Jews.
Lou Landauer first worked as a press photographer for the Jüdische Rundschau, which was still published in Berlin. The magazine published her photographs of the ceremonial laying of the foundation stone (March 19, 1935) of the new AHAWA building in Kirjat Bialik near Haifa. The children’s home of the same name in Auguststr., Berlin had been closed a year before in 1934 by the National Socialists.

In the spring of 1936 the filming of the documentary “Aufbruch der Jugend” was completed: Lou Landauer was producer and camerawoman (director: Eva Stern, Marta Goldberg). The Arbeitsgemeinschaft Kinder- und Jugend-Alijah Berlin contracted the film. The premiere took place on May 25, 1936 at the Berlin Logenhaus where Leo Baeck gave an introductory speech.

The day after the premiere Rachel Wischnitzer-Bernstein wrote about the event in the Gemeindeblatt and particularly praised the “achievement and sensitivity” of the photographer and camerawoman Lou Landauer. The CV-Zeitung also reported in detail about the film. Today the film resides in the Steven Spielberg Archive, Jerusalem.

Until now the whereabouts of Lou Landauer’s correspondence or larger estate is unknown. The only secured correspondence is that with Else Lasker-Schüler which are documented among the works and letters of the poetess (compiled by Dr. Karl Jürgen Strotzki, Lohmar).
In 1942 she began her work as a teacher at the Bezalel Hechadasch, the new Applied Arts School in Jerusalem. The former Applied Arts School existed between 1906 – 1928 and was later newly founded with the help of the Mandats administration and the Jewish Agency.

In the 1940s Lou Landauer taught courses in the department of artistic photography and she is referred to as “Instructor of Photography at Bezalel” (Life in Palestine, 22, 1946). Among the directors of the new school were Hermann Struck and Erich Mendelsohn.
Here she most likely met the photographer Helmar Lerski who had his own photography school in Tel Aviv. In 1945 H. Lerski showed his portraits at Bezalel and in December of the same year Lou Landauer also exhibited there, showing a cross section of her work for the first time, including photograms, nature studies, portraits (double exposures) and still lifes. A poster of the exhibition and various newspaper articles attest to this such as Jedioth Chadaschoth (‘Neueste Nachrichten’) Dec. 7, 1945 and The Palestine Post, Dec. 10, 1945.
In 1949, Landauer went to the USA to attempt a new start. There she worked as a commercial photographer for various magazines and experimented with the technically complicated color carbro process. By the 1950s, she appears to have given up professional photography all together and worked as an assistant librarian at the Leo Baeck Institute in New York.
A small album from her estate contains photographs (1960-1981) from various Swiss locations, most showing her with her sisters and other relatives.
Lou Landauer died in 1991, presumably in Lugano, Switzerland. » Provenance: From the estate of Lou Landauer.

Lou Landauer -Abstract study, Circa 1945. Vintage gelatin silver print

Lou Landauer Abstract study , 1941 Vintage gelatin silver print

Lou Landauer Photogram of glasses , 1940s Vintage gelatin silver print on strong paper

Lou Landauer Photogram of photo lamps , 1941 Vintage ferrotyped gelatin silver print

Lou Landauer -Abstract study with glass 1942. Vintage ferrotyped gelatin silver print

Lou Landauer -Abstract botanical study Abstract botanical study (multiple exposure with photogram negatives). 1940s. Vintage gelatin silver print.

Lou Landauer -Detail studie, Circa 1945

Lou Landauer- Photogram. 1942. vintage gelatin silver print

Lou Landauer- Photogram . 1942. vintage gelatin silver print

Lou Landauer Photogram of violets Vintage gelatin silver print on strong paper

Lou Landauer Photograms of flowers vintage gelatin silver print

Lou Landauer-Detail studie, Circa 1945

Lou Landauer – Cover for a crime novel cover Design for crime novel book cover. 1943. Vintage matte gelatin silver print

Lou Landauer- Design for a book cover for Arsenic and Old Lace by Joseph Kesselring.1946. Vintage matte gelatin silver print with hand painted titles in red

Lou Landauer – Photogram , 1940s Vintage ferrotyped gelatin silver print

Lou Landauer- Female nude and net (double exposures). 1930. vintage ferrotyped gelatin silver print

Lou Landauer- Self-Portrait in Israel , 1943 vintage semi-matte gelatin silver print

Max Ernst- Photogram for Rene Crevel’s Babylon , 1927

Max Ernst- Photogram for Rene Crevel’s Babylon , 1927