Brothers in Spirit
Toni Schneiders and Peter Keetman
Elbschloss Residenz Hamburg until 30.06.2021
Toni Schneiders and Peter Keetman - two pioneers of Germany's post-war photographic modernism. Both were united by the modern will to design and abstraction on the one hand and a humanistic world view on the other.
They shared the motifs of their immediate living environment in the foothills of the Alps and the pictorial interest in the simple and the obvious. While Toni Schneiders expanded his photographic repertoire on journeys all over the world and his photography is characterized by humor and empathy towards the human condition, Peter Keetman tirelessly devoted himself to photographic experimentation such as the masterly oscillations of light.
In 1949, Keetman and Schneiders joined the young savages of the fotoform group, which, inspired by the pre-war avant-garde, developed a contemporary visual language of photography. Their artistic program was based on formal reduction, the creative power of light, and the subjectivity of individual experience of the world.
This time of awakening and the artistic environment of fotoform were the origin of the lifelong artist friendship between Peter Keetman and Toni Schneiders. Even as freelance work and applied commissioned photography increasingly intertwined in the years that followed, the two remained in artistic and private exchange. Numerous letters from Lindau to Lake Chiemsee and back, as well as mutual portrait photographs, bear witness to this.
Toni Schneiders (1920-2006), photographer apprenticeship in Koblenz until 1939, immediately afterwards drafted as a front-line reporter. 1948 Schneiders opens a photo studio in Lindau. In 1949 he becomes a founding member of the group "fotoform" and is exhibited in this context and in the exhibitions on "subjective photography" in Germany and abroad many times. In Merian he publishes his first travel photographs and since 1952 undertakes long-distance journeys to Ethiopia, Scandinavia, the Mediterranean and Southeast Asia, among other places. His photographs appear in nearly 200 illustrated books.
Peter Keetman (1916-2005), studied at the Bayerische Staatslehranstalt für Lichtbildwesen in Munich 1935-1937. In 1940 he was called up for military service, from which he returned as an invalid. Master class at the Bayerische Staatslehranstalt für Lichtbildwesen in Munich 1948, assistant to Adolf Lazi in Stuttgart. Keetman is also a founding member of the group "fotoform" and the movement "subjective fotografie" in 1949, publishes and exhibits in this context. He is active in many fields of photography - captures the reconstruction of Munich, works out hidden structures of landscape and natural phenomena, and translates the dynamics of the economic miracle into abstract images. In 1953 he created the series A Week at the Volkswagen Factory.