Albert Renger-Patzsch (1897–1966) was the leading photographer of the New Objectivity movement that appeared in German art in the mid 1920s. He created a monumental oeuvre, in which he encompasses a variety of themes, types and genres over four and a half decades.
Renger-Patzsch was devoted to create a new photographic realism, characterised by an extreme simplicity and originality. The result was a modern visual language that was imbued with a poetic resonance and helped to redefine the photographic image. His work helped to establish photography as a unique medium within modern art.
For him photography was the most appropriate medium for carrying out a change that was simultaneously artistic and perceptual, i.e., the possibility of a new kind of image that reflected the changes of the 1920s and 1930s, a period marked by industrialisation and the spread of technology.
Renger-Patzsch also produced an exceptional body of work on the theme of industrial architecture, which he helped to turn into a genre in itself. He exerted a decisive influence on generations of photographers, not least Bernd and Hilla Becher.
“To do justice to modern technology’s rigid linear structure, to the lofty gridwork of cranes and bridges, to the dynamism of machines operating at one thousand horsepower – only photography can do that. [...] The absolutely correct rendering of form, the subtlety of tonal gradation from the brightest light to the darkest shadow, impart to a technically expert photograph the magic of experience.”
Albert Renger-Patzsch: Things
Jeu de Paume, 1 Place de la Concorde, 75008 Paris
Through January 21st, 2018
Tuesday: 11 – 21h / Wednesday – Sunday: 11 – 19h