In photography one should surely proceed from essence of the object and attempt to represent it with photographic terms alone.
Renger-Patzsch's Die Welt ist Schön [The world is beautiful],
published by Kurt Wolff of Munich in 1928, is one of the great projects
in the history of photography. A concrete realisation of the possibilities
inherent in photography, which Talbot had envisaged just under a
century before, its influence on photographers across the world
was profound. This image of glasses and that of insulators also
included in this exhibition were found in its pages, along with
other industrial objects and photographs of animals and plants in
their natural environment. It was an astonishing study of the world,
celebrating beauty wherever the photographer found it.
Technology and mass production was hailed by Renger-Patzsch as
the purveyor of a new order of beauty in the modern world –
and he sought to find and express its essence photographically.
He worked hard to work out the best and most effective way to do
this: in 1937, writing about the images in his already famous book,
he stated that: 'these photographs consciously portray the attraction
and charm of the surface'. The National Gallery holds 121 images
by Renger-Patzsch, including those reproduced in Die Welt ist
Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2010