On View

Shifting Dialogues: Photography from The Walther Collection

Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, K21, Düsseldorf, Germany


Samuel Fosso: The Man with a Thousand Faces


Recent activities

Important Update:

The Museum Campus in Neu-Ulm will reopen in Spring 2022 // Publications and major Traveling Exhibitions forthcoming.

In April, the largest presentation of The Walther Collection’s holdings to date will take place at the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, K21 in Düsseldorf, Germany. Shifting Dialogues: Photography from The Walther Collection traces the development of photography as a history of transnational parallels and contradictions: showcasing the beginnings of ethnographic images during the colonial era, self-determined studio photography—and politics of self-fashioning—from the 1940s onwards, and the potent visual activism practiced by a constituency of contemporary artists in the present.

In May, our Museum Campus in Neu-Ulm will reopen with Samuel Fosso: The Retrospective, the first major retrospective devoted to the French-Cameroonian photographer Samuel Fosso, one of the most renowned African contemporary artists. The exhibition brings together Fosso’s work from The Walther Collection with other emblematic series and unpublished photographs from his youth and will be touring from the Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris, to The Walther Collection, Neu-Ulm, and then to Huis Marseille, Amsterdam. Following an English version in November 2021, the French edition of Autoportrait was published by Steidl and The Walther Collection.

Additionally, we have some updates to our growing publication program. A new book series entitled “The Walther Collection Books” is currently being established that will bring together essays by renowned curators and scholars to highlight the diversity of the Collection’s holdings while making important exhibition topics more accessible to the broader public.

The first book in the series will be Events of the Social: Portraiture and Collective Agency — African Photography from The Walther Collection, an exhibition of the same title, curated Elvira Dyangani Ose, and presented in Madrid as part of PhotoEspaña 2021. This publication charts the changing features of African societies in their transition from colonization to the present and focuses on three generations of African artists from the 1940s to now.

In 2020, a total of four books were published in collaboration with Steidl Verlag: two monographs dedicated to the work of Samuel Fosso, SIXSIXSIX and Autoportrait; our latest catalogue Imagining Everyday Life: Engagements with Vernacular Photography; and Photographs 1980s – now, the first major publication to present a comprehensive selection of the work of South African photographer Jo Ractliffe.

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By email in Germany at .

We truly want to hear from you.

We are looking forward to welcoming you at the reopening of our Museum Campus in Neu-Ulm, in May 2022!

Artur Walther
Sophie-Charlotte Opitz
Iheanyichukwu Onwuegbucha
Clara Stratmann
Troy Wong

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Recent publication

Ractliffe cover front

Jo Ractliffe, Photographs: 1980s to now is the first book to present a comprehensive selection of the work of South African photographer Jo Ractliffe. Looking back over the past 35 years, it brings together images from major photo-essays, as well as early works that have not been seen before. Described by Okwui Enwezor as “one of the most accomplished and under-rated photographers of her generation,” Ractliffe started working in the early 1980s, and her photographs continue to reflect her preoccupation with the South African landscape and the ways in which it figures in the country’s imaginary—particularly the violent legacies of apartheid. In 2007 she extended her interests to the war in Angola and published three photobooks on the aftermath of that conflict and its manifestations in the South African landscape: Terreno Ocupado (2008), As Terras do Fim do Mundo (2010) and The Borderlands (2015).

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Recent publication

Samuel Fosso AUTOPORTRAIT Cover 2019

Autoportrait is the first comprehensive survey of self-portraits by Samuel Fosso, one of the most significant African photographic artists working today. Since the mid-1970s, Fosso has focused on self-portraiture and performance, envisioning variations of identity in the postcolonial era, reflecting themes in global visual culture, and covering the range of expressive applications of the photographic medium.

Edited by Okwui Enwezor.

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Recent publication

Samuel Fosso SIXSIXSIX Cov

SIXSIXSIX is dedicated to an extraordinary series of 666 large-scale Polaroids by Samuel Fosso. Made in his Paris studio between October and November 2015, these portraits further emphasize the particular themes of performance and identity construction epitomized in Fosso’s earlier self-portraits. The impressive size and volume of this book, featuring an interview with Hans Ulrich Obrist, courses a new trajectory in Fosso’s work: an encounter with the camera that is unmediated, repetitive, unabridged, and effected over space and time.

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About the Walther Collection

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The Walther Collection is an art foundation dedicated to the critical understanding of historical and contemporary photography and related media.

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