Do or die “The Human Condition in Painting and Photography”
The glamour and misery of mankind are at the heart of this book, but it also addresses the tradition and the renewal of the human image. Significant photographers of the 20th and 21st centuries engage in a sometimes surprising dialogue with Masters of European painting from the late Middle Ages to the 19th century.
The works within the Teutloff Photographic Collection portray both good and bad aspects of the human condition. This book (and exhibition) place outstanding photographs of the 20th and 21st centuries face to face with human images taken from European painting from 1400 to 1900. For example Nan Goldin enters into a precise dialogue with François Boucher and Jürgen Klauke exchanges ideas with Titian. The process reveals, on the one hand, the abiding elements of the condition humaine and the human expressions of self, such as happiness and suffering, confidence and doubt. On the other hand, the pictorial formulae of the Old Masters continue to exert their influence to the present day, and indeed are sometimes directly referred to by photography. In contrast, the thematic breaks with tradition that characterize certain works in the Teutloff Collection are sometimes shocking and made all the more conspicuous. They provide openings to such fundamental topics as body awareness and sexual identity. This two-language volume includes an interview with Lutz Teutloff, an essay by Bazon Brock and biographical information on the artists. The illustrations make the work a portable exhibition in itself.