Inkjet print, 2015
Authorized, titled, dated and numbered on a certificate
26 x 18 cm
Edition of 150
The photograph originated on the basis of an original silver gelatine print that August Sander made from a glass negative plate (13 x 18 cm). The Cologne-based LUP AG produced this high quality art print.
ABOUT THE WORK
August Sander developed his concept for People of the 20th Century in the mid-twenties. His plan was to mirror his day and age in around six hundred photographs divided into seven groups with a total of forty-five thematic portfolios on various professional and social groups. For this purpose, he drew on commissioned photographs as well as pictures he had taken on a freelance basis. The latter was the case when someone caught his attention who was missing in his work of portraiture and represented a specific type, such as presumably the gasmen.
The floor and the curtain behind the two men indicate that the picture was taken in Sander’s studio. They may have rung the studio doorbell in order to read the gas meter in the basement and the photographer took advantage of the opportunity to take their portrait and asked them in. This was not unusual for Sander. For example, he also compiled a portfolio that he labelled People Who Came to My Door.
ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPHER
August Sander (1867-1964) is famous for the extensive series of portraits from the project Menschen des 20. Jahrhunderts (People of the 20th Century). With this extensive collection, Sander attempted to portray all walks of life in the first half of 20th-century Germany. In December 2006, Foam presented a retrospective of work by August Sander.
Gasmen, 1932 © Die Photographische Sammlung/SK Stiftung Kultur – August Sander Archiv, Cologne; Pictoright, Amsterdam, 2014
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