Published by Editions Xavier Barral. Foreword by Alfred Ehrhardt.
Immaculately produced by French publisher Xavier Barral, this stunning facsimile of Alfred Ehrhardt's masterpiece Das Watt makes this key work of photobook history available to the public at long last.
Singled out in Martin Parr and Gerry Badger's The Photobook: A History as a key example of early 20th-century abstraction, Ehrhard's striking compositions highlight the geometric patterns in natural forms. His formal stance and sequencing show the strong influence of his years at the Bauhaus. Produced by Xavier Barral to an exacting standard with rich blacks beautifully printed on high-quality paper, this facsimile volume captures the magnificant densities of the original and is an important addition to any photography book library
Alfred Ehrhardt (1901–1984) taught at the Bauhaus between 1928 and 1933 alongside scenographer Oskar Schlemmer and painters Josef Albers and Wassily Kandinsky. Accused of Bolshevism in 1933 by the Nazis, Erhardt was forced to leave the Bauhaus. At that time he was working in painting, drawing and printmaking, but his exile precipitated a turn toward photography and film, whose fundamentals he taught himself. In 1934, after leaving Germany, Ehrhardt produced his first photographic reportage--a series of spare, enigmatic images taken on the windswept sand dunes of the Curonian Spit along the Lithuanian-Russian border.
Published by Hatje Cantz Publishers. Edited by Christiane Stahl and Inga Lra Baldvinsd*ttir.
In 1938, Alfred Ehrhardt, then in his thirties, embarked upon a two-month film-and-photography expedition through Iceland, visiting such now well-known landscape monuments as Dettifoss and LangsjÓkull. His tour of the island, which he navigated in a high-wheeled Ford and on horseback, was truly ambitious and often dangerous. Following his first photo series, Das Watt (Mudflats) and Die Kurische Nehrung (Curonian Spit), it was only logical that his quest for "elementary manifestations of fundamental forces" would lead him to this untouched "primal landscape" shaped by glaciers and volcanoes, where he hoped to gain insights into Earth's origin. This richly illustrated publication illuminates the context in which he worked, describes other Icelandic expeditions by German photographers and researchers during the 20s and 30s, and explores the typological approach to the landscape and the abstract, avant-garde visual vocabulary that set Ehrhardt apart.