Vienna, ALBERTINA MODERN: »Pictorialism. Art Photography around 1900«

Is Photography Art?

Vienna around 1900: photography had already made rapid technical progress, but at this time only very few recognized its artistic potential. The ALBERTINA in Vienna illuminates in Pictorialism. Art Photography around 1900 the beginnings of a network that sought to elevate photography to the status of fine art. The exhibition opens on February 3, 2023.

February 03, 2023
Heinrich Kühn, Der Sonnenschirm, 1912
Heinrich Kühn, Der Sonnenschirm, 1912, Autochrom

In the 19th century, photography served primarily for documentation; only a few saw artistic potential in it. In Vienna, a network developed around Heinrich Kühn that established international connections and made it its mission to put photography on an equal footing with the fine arts. The ALBERTINA in Vienna is now dealing in detail with this groundbreaking chapter in art history for the first time. The exhibition Pictorialism. Art Photography around 1900 can be seen at the ALBERTINA MODERN from February 3 to April 26, 2023.

Art photography experienced its first peak in the 1920s. One of its well-known representatives in Vienna was Rudolf Koppitz, a student at the former k.u.k. (imperial and royal) Graphische Lehr- und Versuchsanstalt in Vienna. Art photography was initially oriented toward compositional teachings of painting, but increasingly found its own form of expression. The so-called pictorialism also had a significant influence on commercial portrait photography.Art.Salon

Rudolf Koppitz, Bewegungsstudie, 1926
ALBERTINA, Wien, Dauerleihgabe der Höheren Graphischen Bundes-Lehr- und Versuchsanstalt
Rudolf Koppitz, Bewegungsstudie, 1926, Gummidruck

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