Umbo (Otto Umbehr) - Winterlicher Wald

Umbo (Otto Umbehr) - Winterlicher Wald - image-1
Umbo (Otto Umbehr) - Winterlicher Wald - image-1

Umbo (Otto Umbehr)

Winterlicher Wald

Vintage ferrotyped gelatin silver print on Agfa-Brovira paper. 21.8 cm diameter (24.2 x 24.2 cm paper size). Estate stamp, therein signed and dated by Phyllis Umbehr in ink on the verso. - Matted and framed.

Like many avant-garde photographers of his time, Umbo was always on the lookout for new visual experiences and also tended to experiment with photography as can be seen, for example, in his surrealistic-looking street shots from a birds eye view, or in his portraits captured in extreme close-up and also tended to experiment with photography. Umbo, however, did this without any sensationalism, often even contemplatively and in a manner in which the image of the outer world could be combined with the expression of an inner feeling.
This becomes apparent in the present photograph Winterlicher Wald, seen through the lens of a so-called'sky camera'. In 1935, the Berlin AEG gave him such a camera - actually developed for meteorological purposes - to test for free. The camera was equipped with a 'fish eye' lens, which, consisting of several hemispherical lenses, could reproduce an angle of 180 degrees. But Umbo did not use the camera to take sky or cloud pictures; he used it rather playfully and experimentally for very different purposes. In addition to taking pictures at various locations outside the city, such as Potsdamer Platz or the Reichstag building, he also took the camera with him to evening meetings with friends when they played cards or - as in the case of our picture here - into the woods. Umbo also wanted to try out the new perspectives on outdoor motifs: he transformed the view into the defoliated treetops of a forest into a wonderful allegory of the inner clock of nature, combining the view of winter, the seasonal change of the year, with associations with a dial and the annual rings of a tree trunk.“ (quoted from Molderings, loc.cit., p. 159)


Estate of Umbo


Herbert Molderings, Umbo. Otto Umbehr. 1902-1980, Dusseldorf 1995, plate 98; Herbert Molderings (ed.), Umbo. Vom Bauhaus zum Bildjournalismus, Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen Dusseldorf i.a., Dusseldorf 1995, cat. 52

Lot 9 D

4.000 € - 5.000 €

11.780 €