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Jewish Immigrant c. 1919

Emil Otto Hoppé: Unveiling a secret

In a world preview, FONDAZIONE MAST (Arts, Experience, Technology) presents 200 photographs taken taken between 1912 and 1937 in industrial contexts from various countries all over the world by Emil Otto Hoppé (1878-1972), one of the most important photographers of the modern era, eclectic artist and famous portraitist to whom the London National Portrait Gallery dedicated a solo exhibition in 2011.

Like his contemporaries Alfred Stieglitz, Edward Steichen, Walker Evans, August Sander, and Edward Weston, Hoppé was one of the most important photographers of his era, also famous for his landscape and travel images. In the twenties and thirties, after having consolidated his reputation as a topographic and portrait photographer depicting famous European artists, scientists and politicians like George Bernard Shaw, Ezra Pound, T.S. Eliot, Rudyard Kipling, George V, Vita Sackville-West, Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, and Albert Einstein, E. O. Hoppé set off on his travels to capture the romance and grandeur of industrial sites around the world. During his explorations – in Germany, Great Britain, the United States, India, Australia, New Zealand and other countries – he photographed the futuristic industrial landscape, seeing its gargantuan machinery as both technology and art. Hoppé was acutely aware of how contemporary industrial technology was heralding the world into a new era where the very nature of work and production would profoundly change.

Emil Otto Hoppé: Unveiling a secret presents for the first time his iconic images of the second industrial revolution and brings Hoppé’s work to the attention of the public. This work had remained hidden for a long time in the London photographic archives which had purchased fifty years of works from the artist himself at the end of his long and prestigious career. Alongside Hoppé’s industrial photography on show, in the area dedicated to “side events”, MAST will exhibit the rich variety of subject matter in the artist’s repertoire with a series of digital projections of other themes from celebrity portraits to nudes and from human typologies to landscapes.

The exhibition, curated by Urs Stahel, is organized by the Fondazione MAST, Bologna, in collaboration with the E.O. Hoppé Estate Collection / Curatorial Assistance, California.