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12.07.2011  •  Illustration NEWS


POLAROID DREAMS •  WestLicht Collection - Legendary Polaroids from Ansel Adams to Andy Warhol to Robert Mapplethorpe, live in Vienna and as a book

WestLicht is celebrating its tenth anniversary with a unique exhibition declaring its unbroken fascination with the analogue instant picture. Since the 17th of June, the Viennese photography Museum is showing a cross-section of the legendary collection by Polaroid inventor Edwin Herbert Land.

Ever since the 1960s, Land made it possible for artists and photographers to experiment with the Polaroid material. More than 350 works by approx. 150 international artists and photographers will be on display until the 21st of August.

Collages, funky arrangements and the famous white frame. The names of the artists range from master of landscape photography Ansel Adams to pop artist Andy Warhol. The most varied range of artistic concept from all genres, be it fashion or architecture, collages, opulent arrangements and eccentric compositions reflect the Zeitgeist of bygone centuries in an impressive fashion.

A particularly spectacular sight to behold is the work measuring 20x24 inches (50x60). Such as the work of William Wegment, whose ‘Gemälde’ of his miniature dogs Man Ray and Fay Ray are world famous. A special camera had to constructed in order to create these giant Polaroids. The camera, 1.5 meters high and weighing 106 kilograms is reconstructed in its original format. Under the supervision of Jan Hnizdo, former Polaroid Chief-Operator, famous Austrian photographers will have the opportunity to work with this camera.

The exhibition was made possible through the spectacular purchase of WestLicht in March 2011. When the bankruptcy of Polaroid was announced in 2009 and it became known the legendary Polaroid collection with its two offices in the USA and Europe would be auctioned off as part of the insolvent assets, it caused outrage in the world of international art and photography.

WestLicht managed in a last minute turn, to take over the European collection that had been stored in the Swiss Musée de l’Elysée in Lausanne for 20 years and preserved in its entirety. The unique collection is comprised of about 4,400 works by 800 international artists.

The book „From Polaroid to Impossible / Masterpieces of Instant Photography – The WestLicht Collection“ will be released in time with the exhibition and is published by the Hatje Cantz Verlag (Publisher by Achim Heine, Rebekka Reuter, Ulrike Willingmann, German / English, 192 Pages, approx. 200 coloured pictures, bound with protective cover, 39,80 EUR).

Also, in time for the exhibition, WestLicht will open a temporary Impossible Pop Up Shop with Polaroid cameras, all Impossible films, accessories and books. Workshops will turn the store into a creative space.

The WestLicht Collection
until the 21st August 2011
WestLicht. Schauplatz für Fotografie
Westbahnstraße 40
1070 Vienna

Closed on Mondays
Tue, Wed, Fri: 2pm – 7pm
Thurs: 2pm – 9pm
Sat, Sun, Holiday: 11am – 7pm