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Varnisher (Lackarbeiter), Cologne
1932 (taken) 1990 (print)
Gelatin silver print
58.4 x 40.5 cm
Ostlicht - Gallery for Photography
24th OstLicht Photo Auction – 19.11.2021, Lot: 32
Under the title “Antlitz der Zeit” (Face of Time) and with a foreword by Alfred Döblin, August Sander first published sixty photographs of his legendary portrait cycle in 1929. The picture atlas is divided into seven sections devoted to different professions or social groups. A sober presentation is intended to stimulate comparative observation and aims at a photographic social analysis of the Weimar Republic. As one of the main representatives of Neue Sachlichkeit, Sander became a pioneer of conceptual photography. His photograph of a varnisher is one of the best-known motifs and impressively sets the figure of the sturdy man with his heavy wooden shoes and hands marked by work against the darkness of the workshop entrance.