BlainSouthern Are Presenting An Exhibition Of Wim Wenders’ Early Polaroids
Not simply content with the status of genre defining film maker, playwright and author, Wim Wenders is also a frighteningly good photographer, with an archive of polaroids taken between 1964 and 1984 that comprise his Early Works, a new exhibition opening at London’s BlainSouthern Gallery. Born in 1945 among the ruins of post-war Germany, he is one of the most influential figures to have emerged from the New German Cinema period of the 1970s, despite having begun professional life as a painter.
Much of his photography employs the same formal language of art history, drawing from artists whose work he has long admired, from George Bellows to Andrew Wyeth and Edward Hopper, his continued love of American Realism shines through much of this early oeuvre. The works on display, many of which have never been seen before, offer a beautiful reflection of Wenders’ nascent exploration of memory, nostalgia and migration – themes we have come to associate with his works of film, but here, we trace their first beginnings and earliest iterations.
Indeed, the bulk of the photographs were taken on set, acting as a kind of photo journal that mapped the extraordinary locations where films like The American Friend and Alice in Cities were shot. From the streets of Queens in New York to the city of Wuppertal in West Germany, Wenders captured everything from desolate landscapes to cast and crew, visibly relishing the spontaneity of each scene. This collection of polaroids and black-and-white works are a testament not only to Wenders’ eye for narrative and composition, but his belief in the authenticity of photographs that have not been altered.
Wim Wenders, Early Works: 1964 – 1984 is on at Blain|Southern from 23rd March to 5th May
Images, From Top;
Boy with ducks, Bali, 1978 Courtesy Blain|Southern © Wim Wenders
Rain in Denpasar, 1977 Courtesy Blain|Southern © Wim Wenders
Annie Leibovitz, LA, 1973 Courtesy Blain|Southern © Wim Wenders
Dennis Hopper Hamburg, 1976 Courtesy of Deutsches Filminstitut, Frankfurt © Wim Wenders
NY breakfast, 1973 Courtesy Blain|Southern © Wim Wenders
Alice in Instant Wonderland, 1973 Courtesy Blain|Southern © Wim Wenders