Fred Koch: Naturfotografie der 1920er/30er Jahre

Cat. Alfred Ehrhardt Stiftung

Exhibition catalogue, texts (German/English) by Stefanie Odenthal, Rainer Stamm
144 p with 90 illustrations in Duotone
280 x 210 m, clothbound with title shield

ISBN 978-3-86442-373-4

(out of print)

Traces of a Forgotten Photographer

The Alfred Ehrhardt Foundation has taken the bold step of presenting a veritable rediscovery. It is dedicating an exhibition and this catalogue to Fred Koch (1904–1947), probably one of the most ­interesting photographers of the Weimar Republic, who is likely still known only to a handful of ­specialists. Fred Koch’s neo-objective black-and-white photographs focused primarily on detailed depictions of plants and crystals, corals and shellfish, and insects. He first came into contact with photography in 1922/23 through Albert Renger-Patzsch, who at the time was in charge of the picture archive of the Folkwang publishing house and had photographed plants extensively for this purpose. Unlike the sober, objective style favored by Renger-Patzsch, Fred Koch’s photographs emphasize the floral beauty and grace of the plants and their splendor. He used light reflections and strong shadow effects to enhance the plasticity of the photographed plants in an almost theatrical manner. Fred Koch was furthermore known as a ­tireless tinkerer; he developed special cameras for extreme depth of field, optimized the equipment, and studied the lighting modalities in greatest ­detail. One would wish that this publication might contribute to establishing Fred Koch’s name once and for all among the photographers of the Neue Sachlichkeit.

Alfred Ehrhardt Stiftung, Berlin: 15/1 – 24/4/2022