Photographs. Architecture and nature

Sigrid Neubert

07 Oct 2018 - 10 Feb 2019

With the special exhibition Sigrid Neubert - Photographs. Architecture and Nature, the Alf Lechner Foundation dedicates a comprehensive retrospective exhibition to the most important German architectural photographer of the 20th century. chronicler of Bavarian post-war modernism a comprehensive retrospective exhibition. After the great success in Berlin, the work of Sigrid Neubert will now also be on display in Bavaria, and her remarkable achievement as an architectural and nature photographer will be honored.

© Sigrid Neubert

Sigrid Neubert, born in Tübingen in 1927, worked for over 30 years as a photographer for the most important German architectural firms. Through her intensive study of the buildings she photographed, she developed a style of her own, with which she clearly brought out the structures of the buildings through strong contrasts, among other things - and which made Neubert the best-known architectural photographer in Germany. From the 1970s onwards, she expanded her oeuvre to include impressive images of nature, to which she devoted herself exclusively from 1990 onwards. The retrospective presents Sigrid Neubert's architectural photographs in the Lechner Museum Ingolstadt as well as her nature photographs in the paper house of the Alf Lechner Foundation in Obereichstätt. Among them are her best-known works, such as the iconic architectural photographs of the BMWHochhaus or the Hypo-Hochhaus in Munich, as well as her images of the Nymphenburg Palace Park and the megalithic temples of Malta. The exhibition was made possible by the Kunstbibliothek, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, as part of the Federal Program of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation and is accompanied by a comprehensive book on Sigrid Neubert's architectural photography. A comprehensive book has been published to accompany this exhibition: Frank Seehausen: Sigrid Neubert. Architekturfotografie der Nachkriegsmoderne; Munich, Hirmer Verlag 2018, 45 euros.

© Sigrid Neubert

On the death of architectural photographer Sigrid Neubert (1927 - 2018):
Sigrid Neubert was one of the most important chroniclers of German post-war modernism. Only a few days after the opening of her largest retrospective exhibition to date in Bavaria, the well-known Munich photographer Sigrid Neubert passed away last Saturday, October 13, 2018, at the age of 91 at her retirement home near Berlin. She was one of the most outstanding architectural photographers of the post-war period, worked intensively with the most important German architectural firms for over 30 years and shaped the image of modern architecture in the Federal Republic like no other with her striking black-and-white photographs.

"Sigrid Neubert's working method has always been characterized by a very intensive engagement with the photographed object. Her work is exemplary: both her nature and architectural photography thrive on her own style, which clearly brings out the structures."

- Ludger Derenthal, Head of the Photography Collection of the Art Library

Born in Tübingen in 1927 as the daughter of the physician and later anatomy professor Kurt Neubert and his wife Margot, Sigrid Neubert showed an early desire for personal independence combined with a great interest in her fellow human beings and her surroundings. She received her training as a photographer from 1948 to 1954 at the Staatslehranstalt für Lichtbildwesen in Munich. Neubert worked in Munich for over five decades. Initially working as an advertising photographer, she specialized in architectural photography in the 1950s, a purely male domain at the time. Since the 1970s, Neubert expanded her oeuvre to include impressive nature images, to which she devoted herself exclusively from 1990. Her photographic talent was recognized early on. One of her experimental works was shown as early as 1953 by the Museum of Modern Art in New York in the exhibition European Postwar Photography. Currently, the Alf Lechner Foundation is exhibiting the major retrospective Architecture and Nature at the Lechner Museum Ingolstadt and in Obereichstätt until February 10, 2019. The exhibition was first presented in spring 2018 at the Museum für Fotografie der Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin and includes 230 of her most important architectural and nature photographs.

"With Sigrid Neubert we lose one of the most important German architectural photographers and chroniclers of Bavarian post-war modernism."

- Daniel McLaughlin, Curator of the Alf Lechner Foundation

Eng worked with numerous outstanding architects of post-war and late modernism: Kurt Ackermann, Walther and Bea Betz, Hans-Busso von Busse, Alexander von Branca, Herbert Groethuysen, Hans Maurer and Paul Stohrer were among her clients, as were the Austrians Franz Riepl, Gustav Peichl and Karl Schwanzer. For the latter, she created those iconic photographs of the BMW skyscraper from 1970 - 1973, which are unparalleled in their conciseness to this day.

"The prerequisite for a good architectural photo is talking to the architect. I should know his ideas, the design. The enthusiasm for his work must be transferred to me, I want to see with his eyes and take my eyes just as important."

- Sigrid Neubert, 1999.

Through her intensive study of the photographed buildings, inspired by the new American architectural photography of the 1960s and her passionate dialogue with the architects, Sigrid Neubert developed her own photographic style, with which she was able to capture the essence of the buildings. She worked out structures clearly through strong contrasts, and early on she incorporated residents, nature, and surroundings, which could also lend her images a great lightness. In architecture, as she once put it, she wanted to find something of the personality of the architects. Her clever curiosity, her love of life and her aesthetic sense enabled her to become the most important pictorial chronicler of modern architecture in Bavaria, interpreting it in its remarkable complexity as a dialogue of individuals. Her rediscovery in recent years, the recent publication of the monograph by Frank Seehausen Sigrid Neubert, Architektur Fotografie der Nachkriegsmoderne by Hirmer Verlag Munich, the inclusion of important groups of works in the collections of the Architekturmuseum der TU München and the Kunstbibliothek, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, underscores the importance of her work. One week after the opening of the exhibition at the Lechner Museum in Ingolstadt, Sigrid Neubert passed away in the certainty that her work will live on.

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Exhibition info

Sigrid Neubert

07 Oct 2018 - 10 Feb 2019

Curated by
Daniel McLaughlin