Press Release

Nailya Alexander Gallery is pleased to present “Light of Modernity in Buenos Aries, 1929-1954,” an exhibition of 42 gelatin silver prints by Annemarie Heinrich (Germany, 1912 – Argentina, 2005), Grete Stern (Germany 1904 - Argentina, 1999), Horacio Coppola (Argentina, 1906), Anatole Saderman (Russia, 1904 - Argentina, 1993), Juan Di Sandro (Italy, 1898 - Argentina, 1988), and Sameer Makarius (Egypt, 1924-Argentina, 2009). The exhibition will run from October 18 through January 11, 2012 at The Fuller Building, 41 East 57th Street, Suite 704. The opening reception will be held on October 18 from 6 to 8pm. Gallery hours are 11am-6pm, Tuesday through Saturday and by appointment.

Modern photography emerged in Argentina between the 1930s and the early 1950s with the ar- rival of European artists. After emigrating from Berlin in 1926, Annemarie Heinrich initially worked as an assistant photographer, and in 1930, opened her own studio in Buenos Aires. Her world was theater, entertainment, cinema, and culture. Honing a version of glamour portraiture, Heinrich experimented with fragmentation and multiple exposures (Caprices, Anita Grim, 1938) as well as the metaphors and optical games of surrealist inheritance (Self-portrait with Children, 1947).

Horacio Coppola practiced photography and film in the 1920s. Following a short stay in London in 1932, he studied at the Bauhaus in Berlin. There he met and later married Grete Stern. The two studied with Walter Peterhans, who had a great influence on both of them. With the rise of Nazism, the couple moved to Buenos Aires (1935), and started a photography and advertising studio. Due to their European experience, Coppola and Stern were instrumental in the modernization of local photography. On view will be photo- montages of Stern’s most famous series Sueños (Dreams) made for the weekly psychology magazine Idilio between 1948 and 1952.

In 1936, the Asociación Amigos del Arte exhibited photographs of vegetable species, which Anatole Saderman, unaware about the work of Karl Blossfeldt, produced for the publication Wonders of Our Indigenous Plants in 1934, under the direction of the botanist Ilse von Rentzell. After the Bolshevik Revolution the Saderman family left Russia for Poland and then moved to Germany, eventually settling in Buenos Aires in 1930. 

Anatole was a member of La Carpeta de los 10 (Folder of Ten), active between 1952 and 1959. The group was famous for prolific photographic production and critical discourse. It also included Annemarie Heinrich and Juan Di Sandro who came to Argentina in 1910 from Italy. Di Sandro was the first noteworthy photojournalist in the country, and worked for the newspaper La Nación from 1914 to the military dictator- ship of 1976.

Sameer Makarius called his style “subjective documentalism.” He lived in Germany and Hungary before moving to Argentina in 1953, and became the leader of the Forum. This association sought to reflect the way of life with pristine clarity and truthfulness, with experimentation placed within the limits of documentary ethics.

All six photographers in the exhibition are considered innovators and founders of Argentina’s modern photography.