At Martin Gropius Bau is showing 2 photographers who are best known for their artistic manner in documenting what goes on around them. Being of 2 different eras, each succeeded in their own unique way to produce outstanding images. Kertész (1894-1985) has been recognised for his innovative photographic compositions and his eye for geometrical structures, shades, & silhouettes. The exhibition holds 100s of black and white framed prints of various sizes, some original publications, and a little series of coloured polaroids. Seeing Kertész’ work makes me appreciate more the work involved in black and white film photography. Is it a craft. Kertész is definitely one of my favorite black and white photographers of all times.
Concurrently showing was Daniel Schwartz’s exhibition “Snow in Samarkand: Views from the Hinterland of War’, where text and photography are harmoniously juxtaposed. The Swiss-born photographer is also an author who travelled in the war ridden areas of Afghanistan and Central Asia. The works are shown chronologically between 1995-2007. It documents both the socio-political and the history of these diverse geographical areas. The prints were all large (starting from 70x70cm) and framed. The accompanying text was framed and was sometimes right next to a photo and other times by itself on the wall. Previous knowledge of the socio-political events surrounding the areas he visited may help the viewer to fully appreciate the content of the exhibition. I didn’t read all the text as there was a lot. I prefer to read it in a book. I enjoyed Schwartz’s style which is somewhere between photojournalism and documentary with a great eye for composition.
Overall, both Kertész and Schwartz are photographers worth checking out to compare the way they documented the world in their own distinct way at different times in history.