Timm Rautert (born in 1941 in Tuchola, then West Prussia) is considered one of Germany’s preeminent contemporary photographers. Over the decades he has succeeded not only in anticipating the most important trends in photography, but has also played a major role in shaping them: as a studio photographer for galleries, as a photojournalist, as a chronicler of changing work environments and, finally, as a university lecturer.
Timm Rautert und die Leben der Fotografie is probably the most comprehensive publication on the photographer’s oeuvre with extensive, partly unknown series of pictures, six essays and an annotated biography.
In 2008, Timm Rautert was the first photographer to receive the Lovis Corinth Prize for his life’s work.
As a student under Otto Steinert at what was then the Folkwangschule in Essen-Werden, Rautert quickly developed solid foundations for a committed, social-documentary photography. Alongside this, he explored the fundamentals of photography and developed his “image-analysis photography”, which has methodically permeated his artistic work to this day.
In 1970, Rautert travelled to the USA and photographed figures such as Franz Erhard Walther, Andy Warhol and Walter de Maria. In Osaka, he documented the World’s Fair and the deeply traditional Japanese society of the time. From the mid-1970s, Rautert worked together with the journalist Michael Holzach on joint reportages for ZEITMagazin. For over a decade he produced social documentary reportages on migrant workers, the homeless, or previously inaccessible communities like The Hutterites (1978) and The Amish (1974).
In the 1980s, Rautert turned to documenting working environments in the automobile and computer industries, creating a long-term chronicle of the transformation of the workplace in the wake of industrial automation.
Artist portraits have been a recurring theme in Rautert’s work; his first was that of the Czech photographer Josef Sudek made for an exhibition of work by Otto Steinert and his students. It was followed by portraits of Otl Aicher, Pina Bausch, André Heller, Jasper Morrison and Éric Rohmer.
Museum Folkwang, Essen (Germany)
Timm Rautert – Es gibt ja nicht nur DIE Fotografie / offizieller Trailer (IKS Institut für Kunstdokumentation und Szenografie)
Book Specs: Edited by Museum Folkwang // 520 pages, 332 images // Otabind softcover // 17 x 24 cm // ISBN 978-3-95829-928-3 // 1. Edition 02/2021. Available here. Highly recommended.