Material Inquiries

Kurt Wendlandt

This exhibition honours the artist Kurt Wendlandt (1917–1998) and his work as a graphic artist whose medium was light.

In the 1950s, while employed as an illustrator, Wendlandt became acquainted with printing techniques whose production processes were based on photosensitive film. Fascinated by the discovery of this large-format translucent material, he expanded his photographic experience and set about exploring the techniques of image processing and generating new types of print in the darkroom. Combining a wide variety of materials such as film, glass, and glue, he composed an array of drawings structured in layers of transparency, which he then inserted into his enlarger and projected onto photosensitive material. Depending on the transparency, light intensity, and exposure time during enlargement, the process resulted in light prints that feature a myriad of different structures.

‘Wendlandt’s rich artistic imagination was fortuitously paired with his joy in experimentation, which allowed him to find his own inimitable signature in this broad field.’ (Heinz Hajek Halke)