"I cut out photos from illustrated journals and dissolve them with a chemical solution and swipe and smear them," Richter wrote in a 1963 letter. "That is fabulous fun. I have always loved illustrated magazines, perhaps because of their documentary actuality."

This transmutation of photographic "fact" into abstract blur can also be seen in a fascinating film, Zachary Formwalt's In Place of Capital (2009), part of a series that updates some of the original group's ideas. In it he quotes photography pioneer William Henry Fox Talbot: "If we...attempt to take a picture of the moving multitude, we fail, for in a small fraction of a second they change their position so much as to destroy the distinctness of the representation." The long exposure time of Talbot's 1845 photo of London's Royal Exchange captured only the barest ghosts of the bankers, traders, and clerks who teemed around the columned edifice.

Location Info


Artists Space

38 Greene St.
New York, NY 10013

Category: Museums

Region: Tribeca


'Living with Pop'
Artists Space Books & Talks / Artists Space Exhibitions
55 Walker Street/38 Greene Street
212-226-3970, artistsspace.org
Through August 17

Capitalist? Socialist? Whatever "reality" we live in today, a group of young German artists half a century ago helped define it.

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