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Do or Die: The Human Condition in Painting and Photography at the Wallraf-Richartz Museum
A man looks at a painting (L), entitled Ecco Homo, by Bartholomaeus Bruyn senior and a photography (R), entitled Self Portrait #25, by Jack Pierson at the Wallraf-Richartz Museum in Cologne, Germany. The artworks are part of an exhibition, entitled Do or Die? The Human Condition in Painting and Photography, that opens to the public from 17 September 2010 until 09 January 2011. EPA/OLIVER BERG.
COLOGNE.- Helmut Newton & Ingres, Nan Goldin & François Boucher, Paul McCarthy & Wilhelm Leibl, Jack Pierson & Bartholomäus Bruyn the Elder – these are just four of the approximately fifty unusual dialogues the Wallraf will be staging in autumn 2010. Under the title “Do or Die -The Human Condition in Painting and Photography” outstanding items from the TEUTLOFF PHOTO + VIDEO COLLECTION will meet selected works owned by the museum. At the heart of the exhibition will be the glamour and misery of Mankind. The photographs and paintings oscillate between the polarities of birth and death, happiness and suffering, confidence and despair.

The direct comparison between painting and photography shows how the old picture, composition and pathos formulae have continued into the present day, a fact clearly demonstrated by the specially chosen quotes in the works of Anna and Bernhard Blume and Boris Mikhailov. At the same time the formal and thematic breaks with tradition that characterize, sometimes shockingly, certain photographic works from the Teutloff Collection, also stand out. They lay a trail to existential themes such as “body awareness” and “sexual identity”, which, depicted so explicitly, would have been unthinkable for the painters of past ages.

The Wallraf will contrast around 70 works from the wide-ranging and impressive collection of Lutz Teutloff (photographic and video art of the late 20th and early 21st centuries) with more than 40 rarely shown masterpieces from its own collection (European painting from the late Middle Ages to the 19th century).



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