Duo Exhibition

»Isabelle Le Minh: After Alfred Ehrhardt – Cristal réel«

Isabelle Le Minh / Alfred Ehrhardt

Curated by Sonia Voss

Presented for the first time in Germany, the exhibition Cristal réel by the German-French artist Isabelle Le Minh (b.1965) calls attention to the archival work of the Alfred Ehrhardt Stiftung that normally remains hidden from view: the cataloguing of approx. 20,000 photographs and the restoring of 1,000 glass plates. This archival work offers not only the impetus for further art historical research but also inspiration for new artistic engagements.

A number of contemporary artists have already undertaken an examination of Alfred Ehrhardt’s work. But no one has interpreted Ehrhardt’s work as intensely, directly,and profoundly as Isabelle Le Minh. Her new work is part of her After Photography series in which she reinterprets the works of master photographers and examines their creative methods. Following her investigations of Henri Cartier-Bresson, Hiroshi Sugimoto, and Bernd and Hilla Becher, she now turns her attention to Alfred Ehrhardt.

In emphasizing particular aspects of photographic archives conceptually, Isabelle Le Minh addresses in her work not only the photohistorical conditions of photography but also its phototheoretical underpinnings. Here she has elected to work with Alfred Ehrhardt’s crystal photographs, one of his most fascinating body of works consisting of 600 photographs and 400 glass negatives. This is no coincidence since Le Minh studied crystallography prior to studying art – she also understands the world of regularly shaped crystals from a scientific perspective. The exhibition title Cristal réel is a term from crystallography describing imperfect crystals found in nature.

Two new series form the basis of the exhibition: Kristallklar and Cristallogrammes. In Kristallklar, Le Minh combines Ehrhardt’s negatives, including their imperfections and retouchings, with landscape images found on the internet of the crystals’ particular places of origin. The artist plays with the ambivalent character of photography: on the one hand it is a factual document, on the other a subjective construction; Ehrhardt approaches crystals as objects for scientific research, but he also transforms them into objects of his aesthetic worldview. Cristallogrammes is a series of photograms in which small, abstract constructions made of photographic archive materials are arranged on light-sensitive paper so that they resemblecrystals in their final form.

The crowning highlight of the exhibition is the image of a sculptural configuration of books on crystallography, recalling, at first glance, one of Alfred Ehrhardt’s crystal photographs:

Exhibition Events

(The events will be taking place with reservation, according to the official requirements. Registration for each event is required by email.)

Friday, June 26, 2020, 11 am – 6 pm
Exhibition preview / Opening Reception
The artist Isabelle Le Minh and the curator Sonia Voss will be present.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020, 7 pm
Musical accompaniment to Alfred Ehrhardt experimental films, newly digitized in 4K: Spiel der Spiralen (1951, BW, 10 min.), Tanz der Muscheln (1956, BW, 10 min.), Gletscher und ihre Ströme (1962, color, 10 min.) as well as Korallen – Skulpturen der Meere (1964, BW, 12 min.). Performed by Nicole Heartseeker (piano) and jazz musician Mulo Francel (saxophone, clarinet, oboe).

Sunday, August 30, 2020, 2 pm
Artist talk with Florian Ebner, director of the photographic collection at the Center Pompidou, Isabelle Le Minh and Sonia Voss, curator of the exhibition (talk in German).

Sunday, September 6, 2020, 2 pm
Rosa Russo, lecture in front of Originals “Working in secrecy. The restoration of Alfred Ehrhardt’s photographs on glass“. The lecture will be held in German. Free entry.
Note: The event is already fully booked. For our waiting list please register via E-Mail.

Kindly supported by the PERSPEKTIVE Fund for Contemporary Art & Architecture of the Bureau des arts plastiques of the Institut français, sponsored by the French Ministry of Culture and the Goethe Institute.

June 26 — Sep 6, 2020
Opening Reception: Friday, June 26, 11 am – 6 pm,
in presence of the artist and curator.
Framework program: please see above


Auguststraße 75, 10117 Berlin
[District: Mitte | Borough: Mitte]

Opening hours: Tue – Sun 11 am – 6 pm

Admission free

Preceding exhibition at Alfred Ehrhardt Stiftung

»Models of nature in contemporary photography«

Oliver Boberg, Sonja Braas, Julian Charrière, Shirley Wegner, Thomas Wrede
Jan 11 — June 21, 2020

Ensuing exhibition


Stay informed about forthcoming exhibitions at this venue (and/or others) with an annual subscription of PiB’s bi-monthly print issue, the PiB Guide! Shipping is offered worldwide.

Current photography exhibitions/events recommended in…
Berlin | Mitte

PiB’s current print issue
PiB Guide Nº44
SEP/OCT 2022


Discover great photography exhibitions/events in Berlin in PiB’s bi-monthly print issue, the PiB Guide! The PiB Guide Nº44 SEP/OCT 2022 has been published as a booklet, A6 format · 40 pages · English & German · worldwide shipping.

Order your copy
Become a part of PiB’s next print issue!
Present your photography exhibition (or event, photobook, magazine, etc.) to PiB’s international audience of photography enthusiasts!
The print deadline for the PiB Guide Nº45 NOV/DEC 2022 is Thu, October 20, 2022.
For additional infos please refer to PiB’s media kit, and feel free to get in touch for the current advertisement rates.
Note: PiB Online-Features are possible anytime – the print deadline does not apply in that case.

PiB’s E-Newsletter

Sign up for PiB’s free Email-Newsletter and stay up-to-date in Berlin’s photography scene! Assembled with love once a week in English & German for an international audience of photography enthusiasts, collectors, curators and journalists.

Newsletter Sign-up
PiB's Weekly E-Newsletter
PiB's Weekly E-Newsletter

You & PiB

Reach a dedicated audience of art & photography enthusiasts in Berlin & beyond – by presenting your exhibition/event or institution/product/service with PiB!

Read more
#Tags for this article: