Dieter Blum

Cowboys. The first shooting 1992

April 30th — November 6th 2016
Daimler Contemporary Berlin

Dieter Blum, born in Esslingen in 1936, was invited to a first test shoot for Marlboro in the USA in 1992. The pictures from this shoot, which have never previously been exhibited, provided the basis for Blum’s subsequent fame as the most internationally famous photographer working in this context. Dieter Blum was a strong influence not only on the Marlboro campaign, but on the product advertising and documentary photography of the era in general. A short while later, his photographs provided the ‘material’ for the famous cowboy photos by Richard Prince – making his work indirectly relevant to the art context.

Blum has been creating commercial and free artistic photography since the 1960s. His photographic series are dedicated to themes such as Africa, Nippon, German landmarks, Dance, Shell, and portraits of artists and musicians. His artwork has been exhibited in numerous German and international galleries and museums. In 2015, Blum received the Médaille Vermeil from the Societé Arts-Sciences-Lettres in Paris for his life’s work – the first photographer, and one of only a very small number of Germans, to do so in the society’s 100-year history.

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Events

  • Saturday April 30th 2016
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    Guided Tour: Biographies – From Esslingen to the USA
    Adolf Fleischmann and Dieter Blum, who are both being exhibited at Daimler Contemporary, are two artists who both have biographical roots in Esslingen in Baden-Württemberg, and are known partly for their artworks created in the USA. This tour will trace the careers of both artists, and will discuss aesthetic, historical, and theoretical decisions with a significant bearing on their artworks’ development.
    The tour will be held in German language.
  • Saturday May 21st 2016
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    Guided Tour: Two American Artists?
    Based on selected examples from our current exhibition, this tour will explore the question of ‘American-ness’ in the late work of Adolf Fleischmann and in Dieter Blum’s photograph series ‘Cowboys: The First Shooting’ (1992).
    The tour will be held in German language.
  • Saturday July 2nd 2016
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    Guided Tour: Seriality, Relief and Structure – Modulations as Visual Vocabulary
    This tour is a quest for the recurring motif elements and ‘spiritual landscapes’ of the exhibited artists and their artworks.
    The tour will be held in German language.
  • Saturday July 23rd 2016
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    Guided Tour: Dialogue Interactions
    During this tour, the positions of different artists will be compared, in a dialogue process: revealing not only their unique qualities, but also their parallels and affinities in addressing artistic issues. Andreas Schmid’s light stelae installation, for instance, is shown in dialogue with Adolf Fleischmann’s work: the vibrations of color in Fleischmann’s work echo the spatial and temporal movements of colored light in Schmid’s work.
    The tour will be held in German language.
  • Saturday August 13th 2016
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    Guided Tour: Painterly and Photographic Landscapes – From Meadows to Marlboro Country
    In spite of their abstract structures, Adolf Fleischmann’s graduated and rhythmic color surfaces create a sense of space and color that has its origins in landscapes and in urban architecture. Dieter Blum creates landscape images of a different kind: with more success than almost any other advertising campaign of past decades, Marlboro Country created its own world, connecting the cigarette brand with the world of the cowboy life. This tour also attempts to trace the historical roots of the ‘Marlboro Country’ myth.
    The tour will be held in German language.
  • Saturday September 3rd 2016
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    Guided Tour: Wild Energies – Rhythmizing & Dynamizing Picture Spaces
    It is no accident that Adolf Fleischmann uses the words ‘fugue’ and ‘opus’ in the titles of his pictorial compositions – his visual music scores produce a complex, rhythmically crafted pictorial space with vibrating color effects. Vertical lines that appear to float, following their own rhythm, are a significant factor in the theme of color extended into space. Dieter Blum similarly succeeds in creating pulsing movement factors in the medium of photography – spectacular ‘speed ornaments’, the rapid movements of beast and rider. Lassos whirling through the air create dancing momentary visual lines and optical blurs – taking the visible to the point of dissolution.
    The tour will be held in German language.
  • Saturday September 10th 2016
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    Children's workshop
    Our 2-hour workshop is designed for primary school children aged between 6 and 10 years. At Daimler Contemporary we will carry out experiments with colors and techniques, linked to the current exhibitions ‘Adolf Fleischmann. Retrospective’, ‘Dieter Blum. Cowboys’ and ‘Vis-á-Vis with Adolf Fleischmann: Hartmut Böhm and Andreas Schmid’. We will learn how art can be created by light. And we will realize abstract paintings and collages whereby we explore the tension between art and advertising.
    Please register via mail to art.collection@daimler.com. Admission is free. The number of participants is approximately 10 children. The event will be held in German language.
  • Thursday October 6th 2016
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    Artist Talk: Renate Wiehager in Dialog with Dieter Blum
    In 1992, before the German photographer Dieter Blum, who had been working as an artistic and commercial photographer since the 1960s, was officially commissioned by the cigarette maker Marlboro to create the subsequent advertising campaigns (in 1994), he was invited to carry out a test shoot in Texas, USA. In this first set of images, Blum does not show us the well-known Marlboro Man amid a lonely landscape. Instead, he created a thematic series of pictures showing a more contemporary image of the cowboy: as part of a community, in an urban context, conducting everyday transactions at the barbers or laundromat. These Dieter Blum images had an influence not only on the Marlboro campaign, but also on the development of advertising photography. In 2015, Blum was awarded the Médaille Vermeil by the Pariser Societé Arts-Sciences-Lettres in Paris for his life’s work – he was the first photographer in the society’s 100-year history to receive this medal, and one of only a very small number of Germans to do so.

    The talk will be held in German language.
  • Saturday October 15th 2016
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    Guided Tour: Art-Historical Contextualizings – of Inspirations and Emulators
    Artists use the history of art like a toolbox, referencing existing artworks or incorporating traditional forms into their own work as a way of transforming and incorporating standard cultural elements. This tour focuses on this artistic practice, attempting to trace wide-ranging reciprocal relationships with inspirations and templates. For instance, the American photographer Richard Prince draws on resources from the past in his image-stealing rephotographings of Dieter Blum’s cowboy motifs, and Andreas Schmid’s space-light drawing quotes painterly trends from the 1960s.
    The tour will be held in German language.
  • Saturday November 5th 2016
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    Guided Tour: On the (Non)Ending of a Metaphor
    In a kind of ‘scene exploration’, extracts from Ulrich Raulff’s book ‘Das letzte Jahrhundert der Pferde’ (‘The Last Century of the Horse’, 2015) will be read in juxtaposition with Dieter Blum’s photographic series ‘Cowboys’ (1992).
    The tour will be held in German language.

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