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Surreal, Sexy, Sinister: Marta Astfalck-Vietz

Marta Astfalck-Vietz, Self-portrait (standing nude; black halo), c. 1926, courtesy of Berlinische Galerie, Berlin, Germany

Marta Astfalck-Vietz, Self-portrait (standing nude; black halo), c. 1926, courtesy of Berlinische Galerie, Berlin, Germany

Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art - Gainesville

By Raisa Clavijo

This is the first exhibition outside of Germany of the Berlin photographer Marta Astfalck-Vietz (1901-1993). The works, mainly self-portraits, demonstrate her personal response to the political, social and sexual transformations that defined Germany after WWI.

The pieces included here survived the destruction of her archive when a bomb struck her house in 1943. The files that survived were discovered by the curator Janos Frecot in 1989 and are currently kept at the Berlinische Gallery. Unfortunately the original negatives are damaged and in no condition to travel; however, this is an opportunity to see reproductions of these works that are a valuable contribution to the history of avant-garde Berlin.

In these works, objects come alive, conveying an atmosphere of fantasy, transmitting feelings of loneliness, a desire to live, the pain of lost love. Berlin emerges as a mythologized city seen through the bittersweet lens of a woman. Through April 28, 2013.

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