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17.06.2011 - 28.08.2011

When the legendary Polaroid Collections of Europe & the USA were put on the market by the liquidators dealing with the assets of the insolvent company and they were going to be auctioned off by Sotheby’s New York, this caused a public outcry on the international photography circuit. Lead by Chuck Close, artists, museums and photo aficionados worldwide protested against the sale of the collection. At the last minute, WestLicht managed to take over the European part of the collection and save it from being dispersed. Founded by Erwin Land in the 1960s this unique historic collection encompasses 4400 pieces by 800 international artists.

The exhibition will present a selection of masterpieces by well-known names such as Ansel Adams and Andy Warhol- a first cross section of this extraordinary corpus.
A further addition to the show will be the works of contemporary artists, such as Nobuyoshi Araki and Daido Moriyama, that have been working with the new Impossible instant image material. An astonishing range of innovative artistic processes outlines the specific originality and magic of instant photography.
The cameras and film types, especially the fascinating large formats of 50x60cm will equally be outlined in the exhibition.

Accompanying the show a catalogue will be published FROM POLAROID TO IMPOSSIBLE / MASTERPIECES OF INSTANT PHOTOGRAPHY – THE WESTLICHT COLLECTION by Hatje Cantz (Ed. Achim Heine, Rebekka Reuter, Ulrike Willingmann; German-Englisch, 192 Pages, approx. 200 Color images, bound with protective sleeve, € 39,80).

Closer description of the publication

The exhibition will be opened for WestLicht tenth anniversary.

With works by Ansel Adams, Nobuyoshi Araki, Edouard Boubat, Manuel Álvarez Bravo, Paul Caponigro, Lucien Clergue, Charles Eames, Walker Evans, Franco Fontana, Joan Fontcuberta, Gisèle Freund, Toto Firma, Luigi Ghirri, Ralph Gibson, Sam Haskins, Robert Heinecken, Gottfried Helnwein, Paul Huf, Yousuf Karsh, Les Krims, David Levinthal, Sally Mann, Robert Mapplethorpe, Mary Ellen Mark, Will McBride, Daido Moriyama, Mark Morrisroe, Helmut Newton, Vicki Lee Ragan, Robert Rauschenberg, Jan Saudek, Fazal Sheikh, Stephen Shore, Jeanloup Sieff, Aaron Siskind, Oliviero Toscani, Ulay, Andy Warhol, William Wegman, Minor White and others.


Oliviero Toscani
Andy Warhol with camera
1974, Polaroid Type 105
3¼ x 4¼"
© Oliviero Toscani

Bruce Charlesworth
1979, Polaroid SX-70
© Bruce Charlesworth

Lucien Clergue
Le Cerf Volant, Bretagne
1984, Polaroid SX-70
© Lucien Clergue

Robert Mapplethorpe
Untitled (Diane)
c . 1974,Polaroid Type 55 P/N
4 x 5"
© Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation

Charles Eames
1975, Polaroid SX-70
© Eames Office, LLC

William Wegman
1987, Polaroid Polacolor
20 x 24"
© William Wegman

Ansel Adams
Yosemite Falls
1979, Polaroid SX-70
© The Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust

Helmut Newton
1976, Polaroid SX-70
© Helmut Newton Estate

Nobuyoshi Araki
2010, PX 100 Silver Shade
© Nobuyoshi Araki

Paul Huf
1977, Polaroid Type 808
8 x 10"
© Paul Huf/ VBK Wien, 2011

Luigi Ghirri
1980, Polaroid Polacolor
20 x 24
© Eredi di Luigi Ghirri

David Levinthal
From the Vietnam Series
2011, PX 600 Silver Shade Black Frame
© David Levinthal

Peter Beard
1987, Polaroid Polacolor
Multiple exposure
20 x 24"
© Peter Beard

Auke Bergsma
Red stockings
1980, Polaroid SX-70
© Auke Bergsma

Gottfried Helnwein
1987, Polaroid Polacolor
20 x 24"
© Gottfried Helnwein/ VBK Wien, 2011

Robert Rauschenberg
1987, Polaroid Polacolor
© Untitled Press Inc. / VBK, Wien 2011

Mary Ellen Mark
1987, Polaroid Spectra
© Mary Ellen Mark

Patrick Nagatani
Cinema II, detail from the image: Alamogordo blues
1986, Polaroid Spectra
© Patrick Nagatani

Andy Warhol
1978 Polaroid SX-70
© The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts Inc. / VBK, Wien 2011

Les Krims
Happy Easter Christians!
1978, Polaroid SX-70
© Les Krims