Mural for a Photographer (Wandbild für einen Fotografen)
Franz Wilhelm Seiwert German, 1894-1933
About this artwork
Franz Wilhelm Seiwert created this painting as a tribute to both the medium of photography and the photographer August Sander, the work’s first owner. Schematically depicting the operation of a large-format camera, the picture shows how the photographic subject at far left is transformed into a black-and-white print at the bottom center of the composition.
Seiwert was a founding member of the Cologne Progressives, a group of artists who turned away from the total abstraction practiced by their contemporaries. Instead, they developed an easily legible and quasi-abstract style that could be understood by all members of society, regardless of their prior experience with art. Using unsentimental imagery to advance progressive social themes, they brought to painting the democratic spirit of both photography and public murals.
ngela Lampe, ed., Allemange, années 1920, nouvelle objectivité, August Sander, exh. cat. (Paris: Editions du Centre Pompidou, 2022), 38, 42-43 (color ill.), 307.
Kunstverein zur Frechen, Hoerle und sein Kreis, Dec. 1970–Jan. 1971, cat. 235.
Cologne Kunstverein, Von Dadamax zum Grüngürtel: Köln in den 20er Jahren, Mar. 15–May 11, 1975, no cat. no.
Kiel, Stadtgalerie im Sophienhof, Gottfried Brockmann: Bild und Überzeitlichkeit, Dec. 16, 1995–Mar. 3, 1996, cat. 174; Berlin, Haus am Waldsee, Mar. 16–Apr. 28, 1996.
Cologne, Josef-Haubrich-Kunsthalle, Zeitgenoosen: August Sander und die Kunstszene der 20er Jahre im Rheinland, May 19–July 30, 2000, cat. 510; Kunsthalle zu Kiel, Sept. 17–Nov. 12, 2000.
Cologne, Museum Ludwig, Painting as a Weapon: Progressive Cologne, 1920–33, Mar. 15–June 15, 2008, cat.22.
Valladolid, Spain, Passion Museum, The Cologne Progressives: August Sander and His Circle of Friends, 1920–1933, Nov. 30, 2012–Jan. 20, 2013, no cat. no.
Paris, Centre George Pompidou, Allemange, années 1920, nouvelle objectivité, August Sander/Germany, 1920s, New Objectivity, August Sander, May 5–Sept. 2, 2022, no cat no.; Humlebæk, DK, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Oct. 13, 2022–Feb. 19, 2023 (Paris only).
The artist; August Sander, Cologne, 1925, by descent within the family to the present owner; sold Grisebach, Berlin, June 10, 2021, lot 610, to the Art Institute of Chicago.
Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.