200 duotone and colour illustrations
29 x 25 cm (11.5 x 9.75 in)
Published in the UK September 2017
Published in the US September 2017
Ulrich Wüst: Public and Private: East Germany in Photographs
Gary A. Van Zante
Born in East Germany in 1949, Ulrich Wüst began taking photographs of GDR cities in the 1970s. Documenting the expansion of prefabricated housing and its dehumanizing effects, Wüst found that, through the camera, he had a means by which to interrogate socialist city planning. His most important work, 'Stadtbilder' ('City Views, 1979-87), was an uncompromising critique of the public realm and the realities of city-building in the GDR.
During the 1980s Wüst's interests broadened to include the private sphere of the collective society around him. He acquired a pocket camera, which made it easier to photograph candidly at parties and nightclubs, in apartments and through shop windows. His grainy snapshots of everyday life in East Berlin testified to the uncertainties in the decade leading to reunification.
The authorities banned Wüst's work just once, a series called 'Die Pracht der Macht' ('The Pomp of Power', 1984-90), which documented monumental architecture. The artist photographed primarily for himself, and to archive his prolific collection of images he favoured an accordion-style journal known as a leporello. He relied almost exclusively on 35mm black-and-white film, having access to reliable colour materials much later in his career.
This is the first monograph devoted to Wüst, and the first book in English to focus on his work. Gary Van Zante's lead essay chronicles Wüst's artistic evolution. The main section of the book features close to 200 images dating from the 1970s to 2012, including his distinctive leporellos, with introductions to each series of photographs. The book concludes with an in-depth interview with the artist and a comprehensive list of exhibitions and bibliography
The first monograph devoted to the German photographer Ulrich Wüst
Features 200 photographs illuminating public and private life behind the Iron Curtain and the early years of post-reunification Germany
Accompanies a touring solo retrospective exhibition in the United States organized by the MIT Museum and currently on view at the Chrysler Museum, Norfolk Virginia
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