Juergen Teller talks about the photography of August Sander, a forefather of conceptual art and pioneering documentarian of human diversity.
Over the course of a career spanning six decades and tens of thousands of negatives, August Sander created a nuanced sociological portrait of Germany. Sander set out to depict, with eloquence and empathy, the faces of his world. At the same time, he embarked on a massive conceptual project predicated upon the existence of typologies around profession and social class that can, and do, reduce faces to masks. Juergen Teller, born in Germany the year that August Sander died, is considered one of the most important photographers of his generation. Teller studied at the Bayerische Staatslehranstalt für Photographie in Munich, before moving to London in 1986, and has successfully navigated both the art world and commercial photography since beginning his career in the late 1980s. – Produced on the occasion of ‘August Sander. Men Without Masks’, an extensive exhibition of works by the influential photographer at Hauser & Wirth London, 18 May – 28 July 2018. August Sander’s pioneering portraits are the subject of a solo presentation at Paris Photo titled ‘August Sander. Life prints’, 7 – 10 November 2019.