Albert Renger-Patzsch, ‘New Objectivity’ (Neue Sachlichkeit)

Renger-Patzsch, Albert, Die Welt Ist Schön, München, Kurt Wolf Verlag, 1928, First German Edition, 4to (11.5″ x 8.75″), HB, blue cloth over flexible boards with silver gilt cover design & spine titles, G+ / none. Boards and spine worn, backstrip faded and chipped.

4to. pp. 22 pages of introductory text and list of plates, followed by 100 photographic plates by Renger-Patzsch, printed on rectos only.

Renger-Patzsch’s influential photographs of plant studies, animals, landscapes, industrial buildings and architectural motifs. An landmark work of early 20th century German photography. Albert Renger-Patzsch, a prominent figures of the modernist German movement – “New Objectivity”(Neue Sachlichkeit).

His striking photographs embody its principles in their sober, unsentimental vision. He explains his concept of photography in the 1927 “Das Deutsche Lichtbild” : “The secret of a good photograph, which can possess artistic qualities just as a work of visual art can, resides in its realism. For rendering our impressions of nature, of plants, animals, the works of architects and sculptors, and the creations of engineers, photography offers us a most reliable tool. We still don’t sufficiently appreciate the opportunities to capture the magic of material things the artists, and let us try to use the medium of photography to create photographs that can endure because of their photographic qualities – without borrowing from art.” Roosens and Salu 9229.

“Die Welt Ist Schön”[The World is Beautiful] was not the photographers’ preference as a title for his book – he preferred instead: “Die Dinge” [“Things”] as more exemplary of the movement’s goal to concentrate on the “everyday”, isolate the view of objects free from traditional contextual associations, thus creating a new aesthetic linking the natural to the man-made into a new metaphysical whole.

Eisen und Stahl — Iron and Steel. Berlin: Hermann Reckendorf, 1931.

Quarto (298 x 210 mm). 97 black and white photographs. Original blue cloth spine and silver papered boards, spine lettered in white, front cover blocked in black (light rubbing); photo-illustrated dust jacket (horizontal crease on upper and lower panel, ends of spine panel and a few minor marginal chips restored).

FIRST EDITION, IN THE RARE ORIGINAL DUST JACKET. The Photobook, p.125 (“a master of the dynamic close-up”).

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