American, art history, Ausgeführte Bauten und Entwürfe, Avery Coonley, Chicago, Clarence A. Fuermanns, Eberhard Karls University Tübingen, European modernism, Frank Lloyd Wright, graphic arts, Great Plains, Günter and Elisabet Hildebrand, Johannes Krause, Kunstetexte, Lichtbildnerei– wir sind Babel, modern art, nature, Oak Park, photography, Prairie Style, preservation, rare books, Richard Neutra, Stuttgart, twentieth century architecture, Wasmuth
Congratulations to Johannes Krause on the publication of his article “The Nature of Photography: Zu Frank Lloyd Wright’s Konstruktion des Prairie Style mithilfe der publizierten Architekturfotografien Clarence A. Fuermanns,” in Kunstetext.de. For the article, Mr. Krause used digital scans from Rare Books copy of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Ausgeführte Bauten und Entwürfe.
About the author:
Johannes Krause graduated from Eberhard Karls University Tübingen with a degree in Art History and General Rhetorics in 2015 (Magister Artium). As a co-founder of the Stuttgart offspace gallery Lichtbildnerei– wir sind Babel, he assumed technical and curatorial supervision for exhibitions of contemporary photography and graphic arts between 2008 and 2012 (Eckensteher: street photography in Stuttgart, 2012). In his Magister thesis he worked on the artistic estate of the painters Günter and Elisabet Hildebrand and compiled a preliminary catalogue raisonné. Additionally, he also works as a certified Foto-Designer (FFS). His further research interests encompass cultural transfer in modern art and the preservation of twentieth century architecture.
“The Nature of Photography: Zu Frank Lloyd Wright’s Konstruktion des Prairie Style mithilfe der publizierten Architekturfotografien Clarence A. Fuermanns”
American Landscape is a constant strand in Frank Lloyd Wright’s early publications on his Prairie Style. According to Wright, the new, natural homes’ formal elements were deduced from the pictorial notion of the Great Plains. Thus, Wright could advertise his and the “New School of the Middle West’s” architecture as truthful to the American Spirit. Its transatlantic impact on European modernism has been subject to numerous research. It becomes apparent that only by skillfully reinforcing these connotations through his publications of both words and images, photographical as well as hand drawn, Wright was able to maintain the natural character of his Prairie Houses. So readers of his 1911 “Wasmuth” volumes could assume the buildings were situated in an “open, wind-blown landscape” (Richard Neutra), although they actually stood on crowded lots in suburbs like Oak Park. Interestingly enough, these carefully constructed images became alive and lived through photography’s triumph of becoming the key medium of architectural representation. This article examines Wright’s editorial strategies in preparation of his Ausgeführte Bauten (1911) and emphasizes his cooperation with Chicago photographer Clarence Albert Fuermann. The photographs of Avery Coonley House can be used as an example of how they both expanded the boundaries of 1900’s professional photography. In close reading of Wright’s early writings and in recourse to his transcendentalist ardor it is possible to introduce/propose a concept of ‘organic photography’ as a comprehension of the intrinsic nature of photography. As it turns out, Wright’s published photographs represent much more than neutral, factual documents of architectural quality: they have been subtly used to emotionally address and visually guide the beholder towards a carefully constructed, persuading image of Prairie Style architecture.