The Christian-Schad-Stiftung Aschaffenburg researches, presents, and—in a targeted way—acquires Schad’s works. It publishes the catalogue raisonné, made up of five volumes, in German and English and supports international research and exhibition projects.
Christian Schad’s œuvre is characterised by constant experimentation, an ongoing dialogue with artistic tradition, and innovation. In Switzerland, where he fled to avoid military service in 1915, he joined the Dada Movement. In this avant-garde context he began to create his Schadographs (photographs made without a camera or a lens), which were already featured in an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1937 and have contributed considerably – along with his portraits – to his world renown. His first paintings in the style of Neue Sachlichkeit were created in Italy in 1923. After returning to Germany, Schad painted numerous highly convincing portraits during the 1940s and began to devote himself to expressive painting. In the early 1960s he turned to Magical Realism as well as resuming work on his photograms.
This catalogue raisonné published by the Christian-Schad-Stiftung Aschaffenburg (CSSA) is based on an initial collection of materials assembled by the artist’s widow, Bettina Schad (1921–2002). In 2000 she established the foundation (CSSA) together with the city of Aschaffenburg, it now holds over 800 works by the artist as well as all of his private effects.
After extensive research, the art historian Dr. Thomas Ratzka has now provided us with this standard work on Christian Schad’s painting. It is the first of four planned volumes of a catalogue raisonné to be published in German and English. The introduction offers a comprehensive assessment and classification of his extensive work within its contemporary context.
This second volume is dedicated to Christian Schad’s photographs, which were taken in 1934/35 and about whose existence little was known until now. Photographs of Berlin, portraits and landscapes, as well as abstract motifs are presented here for the first time. The accompanying texts discuss such topics as the relationship between the New Objectivity and photography, Schad’s artistic approach as a photographer, and the use of photographs in the painting of his famous portraits, as well as in his later “Schadographs”. These will be the subject of the third volume of the catalogue raisonné.
Christian Schad created what were probably the world’s first artistic photograms and abstract photographs. The third volume of his catalogue raisonné is dedicated to his so-called ‘Schadographs’. Schad arranged materials – including waste paper, fabric remnants, or even lint – on light-sensitive paper and exposed these with the help of the sun shining on the windowsill. The results are abstract compositions in the experimental spirit of Dada
Date of publication: september 2018
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