1929 © August Sander / 2008 © Boris Mikhailov
Exhibition on view:
March 22–May 5, 2012
32 E 57th Street
New York City, NY
Two seminal practitioners of the camera are side-by-side in Pace/MacGill’s current exhibition, German Portraits.
From 1910 through 1956, documentary photographer August Sander, strove to make a visual index of the population classifying Germany’s most conventional groups: The Farmer, The Skilled Tradesman, The Woman, Classes and Professions, The Artist, The City, and The Last People. This monumental project turned into the masterpiece, People of the 20th Century, featuring over 600 images. Twenty portraits by Sander will be shown in this exhibition, each striking a rare symmetry of the individual and an illustration of the archetype, forming a sincere social portrait of the time.
Ukrainian-born Boris Mikhailov has photographed Germany’s middle class. Nearly a century after August Sander, Mikhailov focuses on the distinct appearance of the individual and the transmission of physical traits from parents to offspring. He captures his subjects against a dark backdrop, taken in profile, inviting us to contemplate line and form and what it means to be German in a literal and physical sense.