Toni Schneiders & Peter Keetman


Brothers in spirit

Municipal Gallery in the Badstube
08 July to 18 September 2022


In September 1949, six like-minded German photographers founded the legendary avant-garde group "fotoform". Among them were Peter Keetman (1916-2005) and Toni Schneiders (1920-2006), who invented a new language of photography at Chiemsee and Bodensee. Both made bold use of stylistic means such as light and perspective, and their photographs are particularly close in their landscapes and nature studies. To give photography back the courage to design, to break with conservatism and to offer something new in a convincing way was the tenor of post-war modernism in Germany. Many of their motifs have become photographic icons and have etched themselves into the collective pictorial memory under the term "subjective photography".

Toni Schneiders and Peter Keetman - two pioneers of Germany's post-war photographic modernism. Both are united by the modern will to design and abstraction on the one hand, and a humanistic reference to the world on the other. They shared the motifs of their immediate environment in the foothills of the Alps and an interest in the simple and the obvious.

Toni Schneiders also travelled the world and his pictures of people and travel are characterised by humour and empathy towards the human condition. For all his love of travel, however, he was down-to-earth: "I have travelled to many countries so far - but I am just as happy to return to my family and to Lake Constance - which I always try to portray in pictures as a thank you for being allowed to live here." (Toni Schneiders)

Friend and colleague Peter Keetman devoted himself to photographic experimentation as well as abstraction, for example in his masterful light pendulum oscillations. "What photography reveals to me are laws and beauties. The deeper I penetrate into matter by taking photographs, the greater worlds open up." (Peter Keetman)

The friendship between the two pioneers lasted a lifetime, even when later freelance work and applied commissioned photography increasingly intertwined. Numerous letters from Lindau to Lake Chiemsee and back as well as mutual portraits bear witness to this. In a constant exchange about photographic themes, they always remained curious about new motifs - from the vast Alpine landscape to the reflection of light in a small drop of water on a sheet.

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 photographie" 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.

An exhibition of the F.C. Gundlach Foundation in cooperation with Municipal Gallery In der Badstube.

Municipal Gallery In der Badstube
Lange Gasse 9
88239 Wangen im Allgäu

Opening hours
Tuesday to Friday 14 - 17 h
Saturday 11 - 17 h 
Sunday and public holiday 14 - 17 h