skip to Main Content

🎄 X-mas offer: PiB Guide annual subscription 2023 (6+1 issues) | Order
Weihnachtsangebot: PiB Guide Jahresabo 2023 (6+1 Ausgaben) | Bestellen ☃️

Solo Exhibition

»Stephan Erfurt. On the Road«

Stephan Erfurt

Parallel to the special exhibition America 1970s/80s – featuring works by Evelyn Hofer, Sheila Metzner, Joel Meyerowitz, and Helmut Newton – the Helmut Newton Foundation is showing over 50 photographs by Stephan Erfurt, taken in the 1980s between New York and the Californian Pacific coast. »Stephan Erfurt. On the Road« ties in closely with the main exhibition on the first upper floor of the museum: Erfurt worked as an assistant for Evelyn Hofer, and he later sought advice from Joel Meyerowitz for a photo series that is central to his oeuvre.

During this time, the magazine of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) became Erfurt’s client, buying his photographs and photo essays documenting the streets and restaurants of the legendary cultural melting pot and his travels across the vast country. Whether in New York, Miami, Las Vegas, or Los Angeles, he produced well researched, nuanced reportages for the FAZ magazine, often accompanied by texts by Jordan Mejias. The Wall Street series from 1985, for example, thrives on its sharply drawn contrasts of light and dark. The black-and-white images were taken with Polaroid slide film on a Sunday morning; the otherwise bustling metropolis seems completely deserted. Structures and traces in the asphalt, wandering points of light reflected by the surrounding skyscrapers, and cars parked at the side of the road populate the deserted, almost dystopian situation. Intensive discussions with photographer Evelyn Hofer at the time inspired Erfurt to explore this topic in his work. In his series New York Restaurants, created around the same time, we encounter a few people, but mostly they disappear into a timeless, atmospheric blur. Everything becomes a stage in Erfurt’s early black-and-white photographs, almost as if Samuel Beckett himself had played a role in directing them. But a year later, the photographer was bathing everything in color, inspired by fellow photographer Joel Meyerowitz. This new direction can be seen in a second New York restaurant series – Erfurt’s first job for FAZ magazine – and also in a series taken shortly thereafter in Miami, imbued with the city’s characteristic pastel Art Deco color scheme. In a series he shot in Las Vegas, also in 1986, the colors become clearer, less fragmented. In those photographs, the light of the sky is as brilliant as the colorful neon signs of the city’s motels and casinos. Erfurt was among the first photographers to equally combine these two elements – natural and artificial light – within the same image, and to fully exploit the creative possibilities of color slide film. This aspect, too, links him to Joel Meyerowitz – whose photographs of Provincetown from the 1970s and ‘80s, with their intense local colors, are being shown publicly for the first time on the first floor of the museum. Erfurt’s twilight shots, in which he was able to demonstrate his masterful handling of a broad spectrum of lighting situations, became his specialty.

From the series: Highway No 1, California, 1988 © Stephan Erfurt
Las Vegas, 1986 © Stephan Erfurt
Odeon, from the series: New York Restaurants, 1985 © Stephan Erfurt

Virtual Reality Tour of the exhibition:

Stephan Erfurt told his authentic stories from and about America preferably in small poetic sequences. Some of these images were so iconic that they were picked up by Suhrkamp Verlag to adorn the cover of several books by Max Frisch and Harry Matthews. In 1988, Erfurt took a road trip an old VW camper van along the legendary Highway No. 1 from Los Angeles to San Francisco. His orange van with its white roof – a throwback to the hippie era and road movies – stars in nearly every photograph as a unifying motif, and ultimately made it onto the cover of FAZ magazine. Erfurt also submitted this photo series as his final project at the art academy in Essen.

Erfurt’s special talent for communication – an incomparable blend of curiosity and empathy – enabled him to perfectly adapt to the various situations he encountered, capturing decisive moments to fulfil his given assignment. In addition to commissions he also worked on his own projects, which he offered to the FAZ magazine. Some were accepted while others remained unpublished, such as the series of color photographs of what he called the “urban jungle” that marked the end of his New York period in 1989.

Erfurt worked with a variety of film speeds for his black-and-white and color images, also switching between medium format, 35mm, and Polaroid cameras. At first glance this yields a very heterogeneous body of work – which can now be seen in this exhibition in the ground-floor project space of the Helmut Newton Foundation. At the same time, Erfurt succeeded in translating the specific mood of a place into fascinating photographic images.

After the FAZ magazine was unexpectedly discontinued in 1999, marking an end to Stephan Erfurt’s main client as well as an end to his rather itinerant lifestyle. A short time later, now settled in Berlin and documenting the reconstruction of the historic Reichstag building (the lower house of Germany’s national legislature), he and two like-minded people developed the concept for a new and unique exhibition space for photography: C/O Berlin. Following stations at the former Postfuhramt and in Linienstrasse, this internationally active institution has resided for the last several years in the former Amerika Haus, located in the Charlottenburg district of Berlin – just a stone’s throw away from the Helmut Newton Foundation at the Museum of Photography. This has created a photo cluster that is singular in Germany. While his own photography has taken a bit of a back seat since then, Erfurt’s images – timely and updated almost daily – can now be seen on his Instagram account.

Matthias Harder

HELMUT NEWTON STIFTUNG | PROJEKTRAUM

Aug 13 — Oct 10, 2021 extended until Jan 23, 2022

c/o Museum für Fotografie · Jebensstraße 2 · 10623 Berlin
[District: Charlottenburg | Borough: Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf]

Opening hours: Tue – Sun 11 am – 7 pm, Thu 11 am – 8 pm, Mon closed

Admission: 10 € / reduced 5 € | Tickets: Box office or online

Covid-19

Current Corona guidelines Berlin | Aktuelle Corona-Bestimmungen in Berlin

Current photography exhibitions/events recommended in…
Berlin

Freundeskreis Willy-Brandt-Haus | »Sony World Photography Awards 2022«

Helmut Newton Foundation | »HELMUT NEWTON. BRANDS«

f³ – freiraum für fotografie | »Tina Modotti – Revolution and Passion«

Museum Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf in der Villa Oppenheim | Gottfried Schenk »Of Staying and Changing«

world in a room | Ebba Dangschat »POLYPHONIA«

HAUS am KLEISTPARK | Anne Schönharting »Habitat«

Collection Regard | Amin El Dib »Artaud Portfolios«

Galerie Springer Berlin | »10 JAHRE – JUBILÄUMSAUSSTELLUNG«

HAUS am KLEISTPARK Projektraum | »Offener Blick – Der Zukunft entgegen«

Kommunale Galerie Berlin | »15 Jahre IBB-Preis für Photographie«

Robert Morat Galerie | Michael Lange »Cold Mountain«

Lothar Wolleh Raum | »Lothar Wolleh Duo – Artist Interventions«

AFF Galerie | »tempo« Ines Könitz & Lucie Marsmann

Galerie Pankow | Thomas Sandberg »Ostinato«

C/O Berlin | »Queerness in Photography«

THE LINK c/o Haus des Lehrers + Hansabibliothek | Bettina Cohnen »Leben im Denkmal / Living in a Monument«

Neue Schule für Fotografie | »take five« Graduates’ exhibition #31

PiB Guide Nº45 NOV/DEC 2022 © PiB (Photography in Berlin). COVER PHOTO: CM 13726, 2017, C-print, 170 × 226.7 cm, Edition L, 1 of 2 + 1AP © Michael Lange. Solo exhibition »Cold Mountain« at ROBERT MORAT GALERIE, read more on page 4 & 5!! +++ Photos on right double spread (pp. 4 & 5 in the PiB Guide Nº45), from top to bottom: 1) CM 16792, 2017, 100 × 133.3 cm, Edition L, 1 of 4 + 2AP. 2) CM 14992, 2017, 71.2 × 95 cm, Edition M, 1 of 5 + 2AP. 3) CM D1/1-18395, 2017, 2 × 100 × 133.3 cm / Diptych, Edition XL, 1 of 2 + 1AP. All 3 images: © Michael Lange, courtesy of ROBERT MORAT GALERIE, Berlin. +++ PiB Guide Editor / V.i.S.d.P. / Art Direction: Julia Schiller @julia.schiller_ · ele studio berlin · www.ele-studio.de +++ Printed on 100% recycling paper in Berlin-Köpenick by altmann-druck, many thanks!

PiB’s current print issue
PiB Guide Nº45
NOV/DEC 2022

#pibguide

Discover great photography exhibitions/events in Berlin in PiB’s bi-monthly print issue, the PiB Guide! The PiB Guide Nº45 NOV/DEC 2022 has been published as a booklet, A6 format · 40 pages · English & German · worldwide shipping.

Order your copy
Become a part of PiB’s next print issue!
Present your photography exhibition (or event, photobook, magazine, etc.) to PiB's international audience of photography enthusiasts!
The print deadline for the PiB Guide Nº46 JAN/FEB 2023 is December 16th, 2022.
For additional infos please refer to PiB’s media kit, and feel free to get in touch for the current advertisement rates.
Note: PiB Online-Features are possible anytime – the print deadline does not apply in that case.

PiB's E-Newsletter

Sign up for PiB's free Email-Newsletter and stay up-to-date in Berlin's photography scene! Assembled with love once a week in English & German for an international audience of photography enthusiasts, collectors, curators and journalists.

Newsletter Sign-up
PiB's weekly E-Newsletter
PiB's weekly E-Newsletter
»PiB — Photography in Berlin« | PiB’s website, PiB’s weekly E-Newsletter, and the bi-monthly published PiB Guide: page 12 & 13 from the PiB Guide Nº15 Nov/Dec 2017; feat. the exhibition Evelyn Hofer »Cities, Interiors, Still Lifes. Photographs 1962 – 1997« at Galerie Springer Berlin; image credits: Queensboro Bridge, New York, 1964 / Coney Island, New York, 1965 / Girl with Bicycle, Dublin, 1966, all 3 photos © Evelyn Hofer, Estate Evelyn Hofer.
»PiB — Photography in Berlin« | PiB’s website, PiB’s weekly E-Newsletter, and the bi-monthly published PiB Guide: page 12 & 13 from the PiB Guide Nº15 Nov/Dec 2017; feat. the exhibition Evelyn Hofer »Cities, Interiors, Still Lifes. Photographs 1962 – 1997« at Galerie Springer Berlin; image credits: Queensboro Bridge, New York, 1964 / Coney Island, New York, 1965 / Girl with Bicycle, Dublin, 1966, all 3 photos © Evelyn Hofer, Estate Evelyn Hofer.

You & PiB

Reach a dedicated audience of art & photography enthusiasts in Berlin & beyond – by presenting your exhibition/event or institution/product/service with PiB!

Read more
#Tags for this article:
Cart
Back To Top