Art/ Collection/ Art Object

[Advertisement, Osram Company: Spiral of Light Bulbs]

Artist:
August Sander (German, 1876–1964)
Date:
ca. 1930
Medium:
Gelatin silver print
Dimensions:
29.5 x 22.9 cm (11 5/8 x 9 in.)
Classification:
Photographs
Credit Line:
Ford Motor Company Collection, Gift of Ford Motor Company and John C. Waddell, 1987
Accession Number:
1987.1100.45
Rights and Reproduction:
© 2017 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Not on view
August Sander is best known as the great chronicler of German society between the wars--industrialists and workers, aristocrats and beggars, merchants, artists, and the Nazis who brought an end to his project in 1933. At first glance an elegant and arrestingly modern abstraction typical of the period, Sander’s photograph is actually an advertisement for the Osram company, a light bulb manufacturer which commissioned many leading artists for its campaigns.
Photographers in Germany at this time used surprising visual perspectives (bird’s eye views, microscopic details, stop-motion) to assign new roles to the spectator, as airborne traveller, consumer, critic, or scientist. Moreover, photographs of every different stripe--from the worlds of industry, advertising, art, and journalism—were regularly shown side by side in large exhibitions, brought together as exemplars of good pictorial design. This hypnotic image is an excellent example of the way in which the shock and pleasure of modernist aesthetics, of looking for its own sake, could be seamlessly linked to the pleasure of consumption.
Inscription: Embossed stamp on print, recto LL: "AUG. SANDER // KöLN // LINDENTHAL";
[Sander Gallery to Waddell, April 11, 1982]; John C. Waddell

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The New Vision: Photography between the World Wars. The Ford Motor Company Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art," September 23, 1989–December 31, 1989.

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. "The New Vision: Photography between the World Wars. The Ford Motor Company Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art," February 28, 1990–April 22, 1990.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art. "The New Vision: Photography between the World Wars. The Ford Motor Company Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art," May 10, 1990–July 15, 1990.

High Museum of Art. "The New Vision: Photography between the World Wars. The Ford Motor Company Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art," February 5, 1991–April 28, 1991.

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. "The New Vision: Photography between the World Wars. The Ford Motor Company Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art," June 8, 1991–August 4, 1991.

IVAM, Centre Julio Gonzalez, Valencia. "The New Vision, IVAM, Centre Julio Gonzalez, Valencia," January 20, 1995–March 26, 1995.

Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. "Alfred Hitchcock," November 16, 2000–March 18, 2001.

Centre Georges Pompidou. "Alfred Hitchcock," June 6, 2001–September 30, 2001.

Naef, Weston J., Sandra Phillips, and David Travis. André Kertész: Of Paris and New York. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1985. no. 65, p. 160.

Hambourg, Maria Morris. The New Vision: Photography between the World Wars, Ford Motor Company Collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1989. no. 107.



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