Otto Steinert (German, 1915–1978)
Gelatin silver print
60 x 46.8 cm (23 5/8 x 18 7/16 in.)
Credit Line:
Purchase, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation Gift, through Joyce and Robert Menschel, 1991
Accession Number:
Rights and Reproduction:
© Marlis Steinert, Thônex
Not on view
The communities of avant-garde artists that had flourished in Europe during the 1920s and early 1930s were all but destroyed by World War II. It was not until the late 1940s that an innovative style returned to photography in Germany, largely through the efforts of the medical-doctor-turned-photographer Otto Steinert, founder of the Subjective Photography movement. Rather than exploring external realities, the Subjective Photographers investigated the complexities of the individual inner state. They retained many of the experimental techniques practiced at the Bauhaus before the war but worked in a darker, edgier style exemplified by disorienting and expressionistic works, such as this hallucinatory view of a silhouetted figure moving swiftly through a shadowy urban landscape that evokes the dream world of the subconscious.
Artist; [Rudolf Kicken, Berlin]

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Photographs from the 1940s and 1950s: Selections from the Collection," December 18, 1990–March 17, 1991.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Johnson Gallery, Selections from the Collection 38," June 29, 2004–September 26, 2004.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Night Vision: Photography After Dark," April 26, 2011–September 5, 2011.

For the duration of the MMA exhibition "Photographs from the 1940s and 1950s", this photograph was temporarily given the accession number: 1990.1142. This is the only known exhibition print of this subject.