Otto Steinert

BIOGRAPHY

1915-1978

Otto Steinert is one of Germany’s most important artistic luminaries. A trained physician and a photographic autodidact, he is considered by many the best-known and most important postwar photographer. He became a key figure in Subjektive Fotografie, a movement that would shape more than a decade of artists. Rather than exploring external realities, subjective photography investigated the complexities of the individual’s inner state. It espoused many of the Bauhaus techniques, but worked in an edgier style that resulted in more expressionistic works, often evoking the dream world of the subconscious. Steinert used the camera as a tool to create absolute photographic art, not to produce an objective representation of reality. As such, he is considered a precursor and stimulator of many of today’s photographic movements. For the last twenty years of his life, he taught at the design school Folkwang Academy, in Eisen, where he died.