Kathrin Sonntag and Gabriele Münter: The Travelling Eye

Kathrin Sonntag and Gabriele Münter: The Travelling Eye

Marta Herford Museum of Art and Design

Kathrin Sonntag, The Travelling Eye, 2024. Digital image projection based on photographs by Gabriele Münter. Courtesy of the Gabriele Münter and Johannes Eichner Foundation, Munich.

June 6, 2024
Kathrin Sonntag and Gabriele Münter
The Travelling Eye
June 8, 2024–January 12, 2025
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Marta Herford Museum of Art and Design
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In the exhibition Kathrin Sonntag and Gabriele Münter—The Travelling Eye, Marta Herford is not only showing photographs by the Expressionist Gabriele Münter for the first time in Herford, the native city of her family, but also uniting the works of two women artists made more than a hundred years apart. This juxtaposition of photographs by the two artists not only calls into question the essence of photography as a medium but also stimulates thinking about when and why photographs are taken.

Gabriele Münter (b. 1877 in Berlin, d. 1962 in Murnau), who is famous above all as a painter in the Blue Rider circle, received her first camera as a gift in 1899 while on a trip in the USA. During her two-year journey in America, she took around 400 photographs documenting her time there and meeting family members. In the large installation The Travelling Eye—Echoes (2024), the contemporary artist Kathrin Sonntag (b. 1981 in Berlin) explores the photographs from Münter trip in the USA and engages them in a fascinating dialogue with photos from her own archive. Sonntag let her selection of her own works be guided by Münter’s early photographs of America and sought similar motifs and associative correspondences in her own photographs.

Although Münter had no previous knowledge of photography and was working at time when it was not yet a common medium, she produced impressive photos that anticipate her later characteristic sense of image, composition and use of lines and planes.

By contrast, Kathrin Sonntag employs photography consciously and in examining Münter’s photo archive questioned her approach to the medium and the circumstances under which her photographs were taken. The juxtaposition and comparison of images as well as objects is a fundamental principle of Sonntag’s practice. The artist uses this method to study the assumptions and traps of visual perception and addresses with irony and humour nothing less than vision as such.

To accompany the exhibition, an artists’ book is being published by Spector Books. The exhibition will be shown at the Kunstmuseum Ravensburg from November 2025 onwards. With thanks to the Gabriele Münter- und Johannes-Eichner-Stiftung. With the kind support of Westfa Werbung and Westfalen Weser.

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Marta Herford Museum of Art and Design
June 6, 2024

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