© President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
2017.54
People
Karl-Heinz Chargesheimer, German (Cologne, Germany 1924 - 1971 Cologne, Germany)
Title
Sartre
Classification
Photographs
Work Type
photograph
Date
1949
Culture
German
Physical Descriptions
Medium
Gelatin silver print
Technique
Gelatin silver print
Dimensions
21.7 × 17.7 cm (8 9/16 × 6 15/16 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • Signed: on verso, in black ink: Chargesheimer
  • inscription: on verso, u.l., in black ink: "Sartre" 1949 Chargesheimer
Provenance
[Aurel Scheibler, Cologne, Germany], sold; to the Busch-Reisinger Museum, 2017.
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Busch-Reisinger Museum, Purchase through the generosity of Renke B. Thye
Accession Year
2017
Object Number
2017.54
Division
Modern and Contemporary Art
Contact
am_moderncontemporary@harvard.edu
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Descriptions

Label Text: Inventur—Art in Germany, 1943–55 , written 2018
In this print, the photographic negative becomes an image unto itself. Chargesheimer experimented with manipulating the negative by adding chemicals, color, and heat to alter the film’s surface and produce mercurial forms. The altered negative was then enlarged and
printed, yielding the work here. Sartre is an homage to the French existentialist philosopher whose writings dominated artistic thinking and intellectual discourse after the war. Its evocation of gestural abstraction further reveals Chargesheimer’s loose affiliation with the experimental collective fotoform, which sought to revive avant-garde techniques of the 1920s and ’30s, as well as his experience with photographic experiments known as Lichtgrafiken (light graphics). Other works by Chargesheimer, a native of Cologne, document the
abstract qualities of the city’s bombed-out ruins, yet Sartre takes this interest one step further. Suggesting an existential crisis of photographic representation, here the medium does not depict the devastated German landscape but offers its disfigured self as an image.

Publication History

Lynette Roth and Ilka Voermann, Inventur—Art in Germany, 1943–55, exh. cat., Harvard Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 2018), pp. 270-272, cat. no. 33.1, ill. (color)

Exhibition History

Inventur—Art in Germany, 1943–55, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 02/09/2018 - 06/03/2018

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of Modern and Contemporary Art at am_moderncontemporary@harvard.edu