Past exhibition

Dorothea Lange – Retrospective

04.04.–01.06.1998

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Dorothea Lange (1895–1965) is the great American photographer who, within the scope of the FSA – the Farm Security Administration – documented the American depression of the 1930s, the crisis in rural farm life, and in doing so created icons of poverty. The most well-known among them, Migrant Mother, became a symbol of the “black years” which followed the stock market crash of 1929.

With these images she became famous, but it can easily be forgotten that she continued to photograph up until the beginning of the 1960s, creating many extensive reportages of foreign countries and photographs of her own family life. The exhibition shows important images from every phase of her work, mostly in rare vintage prints, and makes evident the extent to which Dorothea Lange continually went beyond pure documentation to interpret life in a synthesis of clear composition and complex emotions. The association of objective and subjective never degenerated into a formula. Rather it reflects a dynamic relationship between facts and feelings, observation and engagement. Lange´s photographs reveal both social and “emotional” truths. Her work has therefore become a milestone in the history of photography.

The exhibition was curated by Sam Stourzé. Realisation in Winterthur: Urs Stahel. A cooperation with the Mission du Patrimoine photographique, Paris, and the Fondazione Italiana per la Fotografia,

Main sponsor: Dr. Carlo Fleischmann Foundation

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