Alfred Ehrhardt, Bodenriffelungen, from the series: Das Watt, 1933-1936, 
Gelatin silver print, 49,7 x 29,6 cm, Ann and Jürgen Wilde Foundation, Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, Munich
Photo: Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, Sibylle Forster 
© Alfred Ehrhardt Foundation
Alfred Ehrhardt, Bodenriffelungen, from the series: Das Watt, 1933-1936,
Gelatin silver print, 49,7 x 29,6 cm, Ann and Jürgen Wilde Foundation, Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, Munich
Photo: Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, Sibylle Forster
© Alfred Ehrhardt Foundation

Collection+ | Walk the line

Alfred Ehrhardt

Wind, Sand and Water

Pinakothek der Moderne | Art
6/14/24 — 9/8/24
Room 25

With Collection+, the Sammlung Moderne Kunst (Modern Art Collection) in the Pinakothek der Moderne has been presenting works from its holdings since 2019. New acquisitions, discoveries and thematic focuses show the diversity of the holdings in collaboration with partners and foundations.

One still lesser-known group of works in the Ann and Jürgen Wilde Foundation’s valuable collections and archives comprises a large number of photographs by the artist, church musician, art teacher and documentary filmmaker Alfred Ehrhardt (1901–84).

After being dismissed from his teaching post at the Hamburger Landeskunstschule (State School of Arts) in line with the Nazis’ cultural policy, Alfred Ehrhardt turned to working with the camera from 1933 onwards. As cantor and organist in Cuxhaven, the tidal flats became one of his motifs with which he could implement his concept of modern aesthetics and visual perception, as he had learnt while studying at the Bauhaus in Dessau in 1928/29. With ‘Das Watt’ (Tital Flats; 1933–36) and ‘Die Kurische Nehrung’ (Curonian Spit; 1934) he created an extensive series of masterly photographs of nature and the landscape. He does not show the landscape so much as an atmospheric natural phenomenon but rather as a constantly self-perpetuating variation of forms moulded by elemental forces. Abstract surface structures and sculptural shapes correlate with concepts of a natural philosophy that sees a primal force in all things created and which Ehrhardt also renders visible in later series of works on crystals, shells and snails.

Ann and Jürgen Wilde met Alfred Ehrhardt personally in 1972 and were able to acquire an extensive collection of photographs from the 1930s directly from the artist a few years later. An exhibition at their gallery and the publication of a portfolio in 1981 led to the rediscovery of the artist and his photographic œuvre. They initiated academic research into his work and, in 2002, supported the establishment of the Alfred Ehrhardt Foundation that looks after his artistic estate. 

The exhibition shows around 60 vintage prints, some of them large-format, and historical documents from the Ann and Jürgen Wilde Foundation’s collection. The presentation is accompanied by a publication. 

The exhibition is the result of a partnership between the Ann and Jürgen Wilde Foundation, the Bayerischen Staatsgemäldesammlungen (Bavarian State Painting Collections), and the Alfred Ehrhardt Stiftung, Berlin 

Curator: Simone Förster in collaboration with Christiane Stahl (Alfred Ehrhardt Stiftung, Berlin) 

 


 

Collection+ 2024 | Walk the Line

With the motto "Walk the Line", the Modern Art Collection presents six exhibitions in six rooms, which show different artistic paths into abstraction. Line, gesture and the question of material serve as creative starting points. Just how multifaceted these paths can be is revealed through selected positions from different areas of the collection and collaborations, which include painting and photography, drawing and sculpture: Balancing acts that move formally between representationalism and abstraction and at the same time explore the critical potential of unconventional lines.