by (Hargesheimer, Karl-Heinz) Chargesheimer
Provenance: L.F.Gruber //// Published in: Chargesheimer. Im Ruhrgebiet. published by Heinrich Böll and Chargesheimer, Büchergilde Gutenberg, Frankfurt a. M., 1958, p. 92 / Chargesheimer. Zwischenbilanz. Greven Verlag, Cologne, 1961, p. 57 (detail). //// One of the most symbolic works from the Rhineland series, which is called "Breakfast". It shows a man from the working class. His hands show traces of hard physical work. A symbolic image from the industrial area, the Ruhr area, which at that time stood for coal, soot, steel, miners, money and power but also for a growing society and economy. //// Born in Cologne in 1924 under the name of Karl Heinz Hargesheimer, Chargesheimer studied graphic arts and photography at the “Kölner Werkschulen” (1943-¬46). From the beginning of his career, Chargesheimer pursued different artistic interests, ranging from opera, theatre, costume design and painting to photography. While developing an extensive documentation of Cologne’s ruins in the early post-war years, the artist also worked as set designer and devoted himself to creating metal sculptures. In 1950, Chargesheimer started to experiment with abstract light graphics on photographic paper and surrealistic photomontages: pictures created by light and chemicals applied directly onto negatives or photographic paper. At that time he also worked as a Lecturer at the “Bild und Klang Schule” (Bikla) in Düsseldorf. In addition to his abstract experiments, Chargesheimer explored the potential of documentary photography, which he approached in an empathetic way. He became also widely recognized for his efforts as a freelance photographer as well as his dynamic and aggressive portraits of public figures (e.g. Konrad Adenauer) and common citizens of post-war Germany. All of Chargesheimer's photographs have one thing in common: a dissecting, close-up view with which he photographed his subjects, whether it was a Romanesque church or a miner underground, a portrait of a well-known personality or a Cologne backyard. Chargesheimer published 14 books on different topics such as the city, landscapes and theatre photography. In addition, he has created kinetic light sculptures constructed from moving Plexiglas and steel elements; made by Chargesheimer in the 60’s and described by the artist as “Meditationsmühlen”. His last and most well-known body of work, Köln 5Uhr30, was published in 1970. The “Deutsche Gesellschaft für Photographie” – DGPh (German Photography Association) honored Chargesheimer with its Culture Award in 1968, and in 1980 the City of Cologne Grant Program for the Arts was named after him. On the initiative of the Chargesheimer Society, a small square between the Cologne Cathedral and the Main Station’s old waiting room was named after Chargesheimer in 2006. Also, a bronze plaque inside the old waiting room pays homage to the photographer. Chargesheimer died on New Years Eve 1971 in Cologne.
Gelatin silver print
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