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20 Years Alfred Ehrhardt Foundation: Photography, Film, Painting, Drawing | 17.09.-23.12.2022

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In autumn, the Alfred Ehrhardt Foundation celebrates its 20th anniversary. The institution will celebrate this with an extensive exhibition on Alfred Ehrhardt’s diverse work from 17 September 2022 until the end of the year.

Image above: Alfred Ehrhardt filming in Flanders, around 1940 ©Alfred Ehrhardt Stiftung

The anniversary exhibition is curated by Director Dr Christiane Stahl, curators Stefanie Odenthal and Dr Marie Christine Jádi, and photo restorer Rosa Russo. Under the motto “four women, four views”, we are showing very personal highlights from the oeuvre of Alfred Ehrhardt (1901-1984) and the Foundation’s rich archive fund. These include favourite pieces and favourite stories, works that have never been shown before, works that have been lost until now, as well as archival materials that are waiting for their secret to be revealed. waiting for their secret to be revealed. The universal talent Alfred Ehrhardt will be presented in the entire breadth of his oeuvre – from painting to photography to film, with amazing, exciting and stimulating things to discover.

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Alfred Ehrhardt from the film “Spiel der Spiralen. Von der Architektur der Meeresschnecken”, 1951, 35mm, b/w, sound, 16 min. © Alfred Ehrhardt Foundation

Only recently, a portfolio of unknown, outstanding works on paper turned up in the attic of the artist’s son Jens Ehrhardt. These are among Alfred Ehrhardt’s earliest works of art and provide a rare insight into the beginnings of his art-making from the 1920s. We are showing a particularly outstanding sheet from this with other hitherto little-known paintings and drawings. What is fascinating about this work in tempera on paper is the spatula technique, which refers to Ehrhardt’s material science classes, which he held along the lines of the Bauhaus pre-courses.

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Alfred Ehrhardt, untitled (sailing ships), undated Tempera on Japanese paper on cardboard, 31.5×41.2cm ©Alfred Ehrhardt Stiftung

The presentation of the celebrated series “Das Watt” (The Mudflats), which we illuminate from a completely unusual perspective, holds a real surprise in store. The variety of forms of the abstract structures in the sand is juxtaposed with the incredible variety of possibilities of photographic reproduction. On the basis of two motifs, visitors will get to know the different materials, techniques, image sizes and forms of publication from the Foundation’s archive.

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Alfred Ehrhardt, Diploria Stockesi, brain coral, Bermuda, c. 1940 silver gelatine dry plate in pre-condition, 6.5×9.0cm ©Alfred Ehrhardt Stiftung

The exclusive examination of the photo negative itself also reveals astonishing things.
which is given its own chapter in the exhibition. Starting with a glass negative, we will embark together with the visitors on a search for the hidden the hidden riddles of photography and the beauty of these mostly invisible artefacts. A negative tells us much more than a positive print, which is usually a detail, when looked at closely with a lamp, magnifying glass and microscope, and thus enables important conclusions to be drawn about research and dating.

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Alfred Ehrhardt, Pipes at the Walchensee power station, Kochel am See, Bavaria, 1949 Silver gelatine print, 17.9×13.0cm © Alfred Ehrhardt Stiftung

The still completely undiscovered series “Deutschlandfahrt 49” succinctly brings together all of Ehrhardt’s themes and includes abstracting structural studies and industrial photographs in the style of New Objectivity, in addition to nature and architectural photographs. On the basis of selected images, we provide an insight into the archive work and show how exciting it is to unravel tangles and locate motifs geographically. A special experience will be offered in our small, in-house cinema, where we will screen a 30-minute compilation of Alfred Ehrhardt’s award-winning experimental 35 mm short films from the 1950s, newly digitised and now shown in top quality for the first time. The highlight of the anniversary will then be the presentation of these films on the big screen: The Germany-wide retrospective curated by Hamburg film historian Thomas Tode to mark the 20th anniversary of the Alfred Ehrhardt Foundation will start on 19 November 2022 at the renowned art house cinema Babylon am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz.

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Alfred Ehrhardt, Depth II, 1929 Aqurell (spray technique), ink and pencil on handmade paper 27.0 X 26.8 cm © Alfred Ehrhardt Stiftung

We have achieved a lot in the past 20 years and can look back on exciting exhibitions with numerous artists, successful collaborations at home and abroad, and inspiring lectures and readings in our rooms. In addition to Alfred Ehrhardt’s artistic estate with about 100 paintings and drawings, 20,000 silver gelatin prints and 13,000 negatives, we have also inventoried and digitally processed his writings and letters. Thus, the Alfred Ehrhardt Foundation was able to establish itself as an important research and exhibition centre in the photography scene and beyond, and is still a contact point for photo historians, art scholars, artists and art enthusiasts.


Vernissage: Friday,16 September.2022, 7.00 p.m.- 9:00 p.m

Exhibition dates:

Saturday,17 September – Friday, 23.December .2022

Accompanying events:
Wednesday,5 October 2022, 7 pm: Film lecture on Alfred Ehrhardt’s cinematic work by Thomas Tode, filmmaker, curator and publicist
Sunday,30 October 2022, 2pm: Rosa Russo (photo restorer) and Dr Marie Christine Jádi (Head of Archive / Curator Alfred Ehrhardt Foundation) in conversation: Approaches to a Precise Dating of the “Corals” Collection by Alfred Ehrhardt

4 women, 4 views, 4 stories, 4 tours:

Thursday,22 September 2022, 6 .p.m:  Guided tour of the anniversary exhibition with Dr. Marie Christine Jádi, Head of Archive / Curator, Alfred Ehrhardt Foundation

Thursday,20 October 2022, 6 .p.m.: Guided tour of the anniversary exhibition with Stefanie Odenthal, Foundation Manager / Curator Alfred Ehrhardt Foundation

Thursday, 17 November 2022, 6 .p.m.: Guided tour of the anniversary exhibition with Dr Christiane Stahl, Director Alfred Ehrhardt Foundation

Thursday,1 December 2022, 6 p.m: Guided tour of the anniversary exhibition with Rosa Russo, photo restorer Alfred Ehrhardt Foundation


Entrance free


Auguststr. 75, 10117 Berlin

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