MADE IN GERMANY presents an overview of German photography that includes numerous iconic masterpieces from the 1850s to the present. Germany is a nation closely associated with the historic development of photography, in particular in the field of technological advances.

But Germany was never merely an industrial powerhouse or a place for engineering precision alone. It has been the home of numerous photographers, who each made a great contribution to the evolution of the photographic medium, and from almost its earliest inception. Following this timeline of the mid-19th century through to the present, MADE IN GERMANY includes works by early masters Leopold Ahrendts and, a particular favourite, Heinrich Kühn, but also greats like Helmut Newton and the Bechers, Bernd and Hilla. There are, of course, somany more, not least the stars of the Bauhaus era.

Bauhaus Band, 1928; Silver gelatin print, 17x12.5cm

Bauhaus Band, 1928; Silver gelatin print, 17×12.5cm

The 120 works in the exhibition are grouped together as a series of important moments for photography in Germany through the course of these 160 years. These moments give specific focus to shifts in technique, styles and content, and to the photographers whose innovative visions produced those shifts. Chronologically, the moments begin in the 1850s. Next comes the 1920s and 1930s, which covers the Bauhaus and the innovations of the avant-garde. Following WWII, we see how photographers uncovered new areas of subjectivity. This transitioned into a documentary turn in the 1970s and 1980s, with contrasts between the visions of photographers in West and East Germany in the years before the reunification took place following the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. The final section moves forward into the contemporary period.

The works for MADE IN GERMANY were selected for us by Berlin-based curator Petra Helck. SCoP offers sincere gratitude to her and to the gallery Kicken Berlin; to Hua’er at see+ Gallery, Beijing and to Carolin Förster for her contribution to the exhibition text. Thanks also go to their trustee Arthur Wang Minxiang for his assistance with the exhibition; and to Matthew Liu for his generous loan of Candida Höfer’s work.

About the exhibition

MADE IN GERMANY: German Photography from the 19th Century to Today
Venue: Shanghai Centre of Photography
Duration: 2017.1.11 – 4.02
Time: Tue-Sun, 10:30-17:30 (last entry 17:00)
Address: 2555-1 Longteng Avenue, Shanghai, China (near Fenggu Road)

Contact: +86 (0)21 6428 9516
Courtesy of SCoP, for further information please visit

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