Sander, August


German, 1876–1964


August Sander favored objective detail, uncompromising true-to-life representation, and a comparative approach to photography. His visual portrayals of farmers, workers, students, families, tradespeople, artists, and the bourgeoisie from early-twentieth-century Germany highlight both the individuality of the sitter and the typical traits of social and occupational groups, genders, and generations. In "Antlitz der Zeit" ("The Face of Our Time"), a 60-image portfolio from his ongoing master project "Menschen des 20. Jahrhunderts" ("Citizens of the Twentieth Century"), Sander worked to create an exact photography that contextualized and emphasized varying social strata and underscored the psychology of a period, unsentimentally capturing a society faced with transition. His highly controlled portraits utilized the details of clothing, pose, props, and landscape to succinctly describe a subject. Systematically culled from nearly 40,000 images, and arranged into seven archetypal categories—such as The Farmer and Classes and Professions. Sander’s project was published in numerous volumes over many years, but it remained unfinished at the time of his death.

Artworks by Sander, August

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