Preview of the Exhibitions by Die Photographische Sammlung/SK Stiftung Kultur in 2017

The first major exhibition is dedicated to the German photographer Emil Otto Hoppé

The Sydney Harbour Bridge Under Construction, Sydney from North Sydney, 1930 © 2017 Curatorial Assistance, Inc. / E.O. Hoppé Estate Collection

The focus of the exhibitions at Die Photographische Sammlung/SK Stiftung Kultur in 2017 is on industrialization and the resulting consequences for people, the landscape, and the emerging new visual forms.

The first major exhibition is devoted to the German photographer Emil Otto Hoppé, who moved to London in 1902 and soon thereafter opened his first studio. Hoppé’s involvement with the subject of industry in the early 20th century is documented in the photographs he took worldwide in numerous different plants. For the second major exhibition, which will be presented beginning in early September, more than 30 contemporary German and Italian photographers allowed themselves to be inspired by Antonioni’s classic film Il Deserto Rosso, which was shot in the industrial region around Ravenna in 1964.


Emil Otto Hoppé - Unveiling a Secret

An exhibition in collaboration with the Fondazione MAST, Bologna, and the E. O. Hoppé Estate Collection/Curatorial Assistance, California, curated by Urs Stahel

April 6–July 30, 2017 (opening: Wednesday, April 5, 2017, 7:00 p.m.)

The photographer Emil Otto Hoppé (1878–1972) enjoyed great photographic renown during his lifetime. In 1907, the native of Munich opened his first studio in London and quickly established himself in the area of portraiture and topographic depiction. The 1920s and ‘30s in particular were marked by numerous trips through Europe and abroad, where he worked out very successful travel books. The subject of industry, on which the current exhibition focuses, assumes a key role in Hoppé’s oeuvre. His book Deutsche Arbeit, published in 1930, is taken up in the volume The German Work (Steidl, 2015). Hoppé considered industry, its forms of production, and its mechanisms as a forward-looking element, whereby he in no way reflected uncritically on its enormous relevance in view of economic and social concerns. In terms of his formal aesthetic, Hoppé moves within pictorial and modernist imagery. His in many ways surprising and intensive photographs of industrial structures in exterior and interior views, of machines and those workers who operate them, call our attention to an influential epoch whose achievements continue to have an effect to this day.

This exhibition presents the complex of subjects in the work of Emil Otto Hoppé for the first time in this breadth and moreover shifts his photographic achievements into the public limelight after decades.


A Look at the Collection: Industry as a Motif

With photographs by Bernd and Hilla Becher, Ruth Hallensleben, Albert Renger-Patzsch, August Sander, Peter Weller, and many more

April 6–July 30, 2017 (opening: Wednesday, April 5, 2017, 7:00 p.m.)

In the collection of Die Photographische Sammlung/SK Stiftung Kultur the depiction of industry is assigned important meaning, above all in connection with the photographic oeuvre of Bernd and Hilla Becher. A selection of groups of works on the subject will be presented in the flanking group exhibition A Look at the Collection, which comprises the period between the late 19th century and the 1960s.

Flashback - Photographic Reactions to Antonioni’s Il Deserto Rosso

An exhibition in collaboration with the Academy of Visual Arts Leipzig, Linea di Confine, Rubiera, and the Osservatorio Fotografico, Ravenna

September 1, 2017–January 28, 2018 (opening: Thursday, August 31, 2017, 7:00 p.m.)

All of the works presented in the exhibition reflect on the film Il Deserto Rosso (The Red Desert) by Michelangelo Antonioni, which was produced in 1964 in the industrial region around Ravenna—a classic in the history of international film, Antonioni’s first film in color and there especially exciting visually. The multilayeredness of its visual and thematic structure and not lastly the film’s regional reference to Italy occasioned the cooperation between Cologne, Leipzig, Ravenna, and Rubiera. Photographers, artists, and students from the Academy of Visual Arts Leipzig, from the circle around Linea di Confine per la Fotografia Contemporanea, Rubiera, and from the Osservatorio Fotografico, Ravenna, were asked to take Antonioni’s film as an occasion to create an individual artistic work. More than 30 German and Italian participants responded and have produced photographs, videos, and sound installations that make reference to very different questions posed by Antonioni.

Works are being shown by Fabrizio Albertini, Mariano Andreani, Daniele Ansidei, Joachim Brohm, Christoph Brückner, Luca Capuano, Danny Degner/Vera König, Eva Dittrich/Katarína Dubovská, Alessandra Dragoni, Johannes Ernst, Marcello Galvani, William Guerrieri, Guido Guidi, Sophia Kesting, Philipp Kurzhals, Dana Lorenz/Jakob Argauer, Allegra Martin, Mako Mizobuchi, Francesco Neri, Andrea Pertoldeo, Sabrina Ragucci/Giorgio Falco, Alexander Rosenkranz, Valentina Seidel, Franco Vaccari, Anna Voswinckel, and Jakob Wierzba.

The exhibition follows its presentation in the exhibition Red Desert now! that was mounted in October/November 2016 at the Ospitale di Rubiera, Reggio Emilia.

Die Photographische Sammlung/SK Stiftung Kultur, Im Mediapark 7, 50670 Köln, Tel.: +49 221 - 888 95 300, email:,