The Alfred Ehrhardt Foundations presents a retrospective of the works of Manfred Kage simultaneously with the exhibition Mikrofotografie—Schönheit jenseits des Sichtbaren (Microphotography—Beauty Beyond the Visible), which the foundation has organized in cooperation with the Photography Collection of the Art Library at the Museum of Photography.
The work of Manfred Kage (*1935), Germany’s most important microphotographer, has spanned the disciplines of chemistry, microbiology, as well as visual art. For over five decades he has been Germany’s leading figure this interdisciplinary field and had set precidents for others to follow. Since 1958 his work has been shown in the art context of subjective photography, art informel, and the ZERO group. In 1959 he founded his Institut für wissenschaftliche Fotografie und Kinematografie (Institute for Scientific Photography and Cinematography) housed in Castle Weissenstein, an excellently equipped laboratory filled with microphotographic equipment. As a »tinkerer« and microphotography’s »mad scientist« of sorts, he has also acted as an inventor. He developed the polychromator, a system for coloring photographs taken with the scanning electron microscope, and he was among the first users of the U-matic video system. This brought him in contact with Salvador Dalí, for whose much acclaimed film Impressions of Upper Mongolia he captured the corrosion structures on the tip of a ballpoint pen, so that they simulated aerial footage of surreal landscapes.
The exhibition Microphotography—A Manfred Klage Retrospective shows over 100 photographs, 10 films, and one microapparatus. A catalogue published by Hatje Cantz will appear in conjunction with this cooperative exhibition project.