With the exhibition “Peter Keetman. Vintage Photographs from the Gerd Sander Collection”, Galerie Julian Sander is presenting one of the central figures of post-war German photography. In 1949, Keetman was one of the founders of the fotoform group, whose experimental, graphically incisive works echoed the photographic avant-garde of the 1920s. Keetman knew how to combine the influence that the “New Photographers” of the Weimar period had on him with his own individual perception of the reality that surrounded him and to translate it into a new, contemporary aesthetic. During his photographic activity, which spanned several decades, he focused his gaze on recurring subjects. He was interested in visually appealing phenomena that nature and the world of things have to offer: the transparency of a drop of water, the diffuse smoke of a cigarette, condensation in which the light refracts, crystalline ice formations, reflections, steam and fog. Through the lens of his camera, he isolated these optical phenomena and translated them into images of austere, graphic beauty. “We are surrounded – whether we take note of it or not – by a world full of lawful wonders” Peter Keetman recorded in later years. To make these wonders visible was what he saw as his task as a photographer.
The nearly fifty photographs, all of which are vintage prints produced close to the time the negative was taken, come from the estate of Gerd Sander, who died two years ago, and have recently been rediscovered. Sander, who was just establishing himself as a photo gallerist in New York at the time, had acquired most of them from the photographer himself around 1980. Among them are some of Keetman’s most famous, widely published photographs, but also works that are less well known today, but nevertheless of the highest aesthetic quality. Thus, the exhibition should be able to reveal one or another discovery for the interested collector.
Peter Keetman : Vintage Photographs from the Gerd Sander Collection
April, 22 – June, 30, 2023
Galerie Julian Sander
Bonner Str. 82
50677 Köln, Germany