As a photographer (1913–1951) Wols continues to this day to be a discovery. The young, artistically ambitious, non-conformist left Dresden for Paris in 1932, where he began his artistic career as a portrait photographer. At that time, Paris, undisputedly the metropolis of the avant-garde and modern life, attracted free spirits from all over the world to seek their fortune. From 1932 to 1939 Wols created his impressive photographic oeuvre, which after 1945 he abandoned as a result of adverse circumstances and a shift in his interest to drawing and painting. In the years following his early death, the few preserved photos and negatives were nearly forgotten. Today the Dresdener Kupferstich-Kabinett (Collection of Prints, Drawings and Photographs) holds the internationally most important collection of his photographic oeuvre, which was preserved in the estate of his sister, Elfriede Schulze-Battmann. It contains rare modern prints, produced from the original negatives in the 1960s and 1970s, and a small number of valuable vintage prints made by Wols himself. Both the catalogue and exhibition disregard the myth surrounding Wols and, relying on a new art-historical evaluation of the collection, focus on his artistic achievement.
Curated by Michael Hering with Sophia Greiff, Christin Müller und Madoka Yuki.
Kupferstich-Kabinett, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden
Wols (Alfred Otto Wolfgang Schulze)