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date: 09 December 2019

Gutmann, Johnlocked

(b Breslau, Silesia [now Wrocław, Poland], May 28, 1905; d San Francisco, CA, June 12, 1998).
  • Richard Lorenz

Extract

(b Breslau, Silesia [now Wrocław, Poland], May 28, 1905; d San Francisco, CA, June 12, 1998).

American photographer and painter. He studied painting at the Staatliche Akademie für Kunst und Kunstgewerbe in Breslau during the mid-1920s with Otto Mueller and from 1927 to 1930 carried out graduate and post-graduate work in Berlin at Humboldt Universität and the Akademie der Künste. Between 1929 and 1932 he taught art at various schools in Berlin and Brandenburg. He began photographing in 1933 and was hired as a photojournalist by Presse-Foto in Berlin. That same year he travelled to San Francisco, which became his permanent home in 1937.

Gutmann viewed America with a fresh and sophisticated photojournalistic style that synthesized social and aesthetic concerns in daringly cropped compositions and juxtaposed forms. His painterly sensibilities drew him to visually stimulating subjects such as graffiti, quirkily painted signs, costumed Mardi Gras revellers and car-bonnet ornaments. He devoted much of his life to teaching at San Francisco State University, where he developed the graduate photography department in ...

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