why i love august sander.

Back to something old and black and white, August Sander was a German portrait and documentary photographer who lived from 1876 to 1964. According to many he is the most important German photographer of the 20th century and it is not hard to see why, since he manage to capture not only the faces of people but the portrait of a whole nation during different eras. His first contact with photography was as an assistant to a photographer working for a mining company. After that he bought equipment, built a darkroom and began shooting. Always political and vanguardist he had some rough times under the Nazi regime but he never stopped shooting, not even after his studio was destroyed in 1944 by a bomb.

You gotta love August Sander for his devotion as well as for his portraits. Realistic, and yet more than that, they bring out the face and personality of the person depicted as well as that of the backgrounds, the historical moments, a whole breathing society comes to life in every single portrait. You dont need to know anything about the person you look at, in one picture you can guess the whole story of him/her. the New Objectivity that he was after, is always there in every work of his; the constructivism and objectivity, the geometry and the object, the general and the particular, the avant-garde conviction and the political engagement. Everything.


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