The Architecture of Frederick Romberg through the Lens of Wolfgang Sievers
20th Century
Wolfgang sievers
Frederick romberg
German modernism
Materias Investigacion::Arquitectura
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Servicio de Publicaciones Universidad de Navarra
Bremer, V., (2016), ""The Architecture of Frederick Romberg through the Lens of Wolfgang Sievers"". En: Alcolea, R.A., Tárrago-Mingo, J., (eds.) en Congreso internacional: Inter photo arch ""Interacciones"", (pp. 44-53)
I examine the architecture of émigré artist Frederick Romberg (1913-1992) through the lens of émigré photographer, Wolfgang Sievers (1913-2007). This multidisciplinary approach of analyzing Romberg’s architecture through the photographs of Wolfgang Sievers serves to better understand Australian migrant art and just as well, the migrant experience and migrant identity. Romberg and Sievers fled the rise of Nazism in Germany and arrived in Australia in 1938, bringing with them the influence of German Modernist traditions. The professional relationship between architect and photographer resulted in a multitude of photographs whose nature of architectural form and designs communicate not just the physical characteristics of buildings, but also the experience of exile, constant artistic interaction, collaboration, and active promotion of modernist aesthetics in Melbourne. Both Romberg’s deliberate use and dependence of Sievers’ Bauhaus-trained trained photographic practice to capture architecture, and likewise, Sievers’ selective photographic captures of Romberg’s Modern architectural forms, provide insight as to what and whom the Modern artist in exile depends on, engages with, and seeks once in a foreign landscape. Focusing on Sievers’ photographs of Romberg’s designs for Stanhill Flats and Newburn flats, the paper contends that documentary photographs further provide a historical reality of the past and architectural practice. The photographs put us, the viewers, in the setting Romberg found himself in and at around the time his buildings were executed; they illuminate the emerging phenomenon of German modernism in Australia during the 1950’s. These photographs, providing flat, almost 360-degree views of architectural forms throughout Romberg’s artistic career, allow for an analysis of the modernist traditions that Romberg employed in his designs. Ultimately, I hope to demonstrate how Romberg and Sievers diligently and assertively worked together in becoming successful artists in Australia once off of the Mosel and Comorin ships with fresh Modernism in their bags.
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