Eugene von Bruenchenhein
& Man on Rooftop
In intimate position

2nd of September – 12th of November 2016


Photo collages from the 19th century.

16th of September – 26th of November 2016

  • left: Eugene von Bruenchenhein, untitled, 1945-1951, Vintage Print, 25 x 16 cm, right: Man on Rooftop, untitled, Feb 1968, Vintage Print, 13 x 9 cm

A man stands on a rooftop, naked except for a women’s bikini bottom, sunglasses screen his eyes from the glare of the winter light. A woman stands before a flowery curtain swathed in pearl necklaces, a lightbulb illuminates her body. In this exhibition the gallery features two positions: That of the anonymous photographs of Man on Rooftop from the late 60s and the portraits taken by Eugene von Bruenchenhein of his wife Marie during the 1940s and 1950s.

In both instances, the bodies often behave similarly in front of the camera, regardless of whether they are the subject being photographed or are photographing themselves: they are toying with poses, becoming slaves of a weakness for confinement expressed in the wearing of chains or in the crossing of arms and legs. A delicately implied fetishism expressed in a preference for underwear and in the use of accessories such as pearl necklaces and sunglasses underscores the near nudity of those being photographed. It is the juxtaposition of two moments of intimacy.

Man on Rooftop is a collection of around 60 black and white photographs made by an unknown photographer in the late 1960s. The photos were discovered in the US. They show the same man, perhaps in his mid- to late-thirties, wearing an assortment of women's bikini bottoms on an empty rooftop. Nothing else is known about the body of work.

Eugene von Bruenchenhein (born 1910) produced an expansive universe of multiple mediums spanning poetry, photography, ceramics, sculpture, painting and ballpoint drawing over a 50-year period, between the late 1930s until his death in 1983. Most remarkable perhaps are von Bruenchenhein's countless photographs of his lifelong obsession „Marie” (her real name was Eveline Kalke), his wife and muse. He had met her in 1939 at a state fair in Wisconsin and believed that she descended from blue blood royalty.

Man on Rooftop will be featured at Blum & Poe (Los Angeles) in a solo presentatio in the fall 2016. The works by Eugene von Bruenchenhein in the exhibition IN INTIMATE POSITION are shown in collaboration with Andrew Edlin Gallery (New York).