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A great launch: the very first exhibition at the new Leica Gallery in Stuttgart – that shares a building with an equally new Leica Store – is dedicated to one of Germany’s most important photographers. The presentation offers insight into Herlinde Koelbl’s incomparable body of work. In fact, she is so much more than just a photographer: she is an artist, author, and chronicler, or, to use another honorary title, “seismograph” of her times. Koelbl’s photo series are primarily defined by long-term projects, often complemented by in-depth interviews and conversations. Many of her great photographic cycles have made history. Her particular interest has always been focussed on people: their cultural settings; their everyday lives; their physicality; their individuality. With her very precise capacity of observation, Koelbl has repeatedly dealt with social, cultural, political and philosophical subjects, offering touching insight into the many levels of human personalities and sensitivities. The photographer’s curiosity and empathy is evident in every image. The exhibition now opening in Stuttgart includes motifs from her Haare (Hair), Das deutsche Wohnzimmer (The German Sitting Rooms), Schlafzimmer (Bedrooms), Feine Leute (Refined People), Beziehungen (Relationships) and Portraits projects.

The new Leica Store is spread over two floors and is located in Stuttgart’s busy city centre. The store carries Leica’s current product portfolio for both the camera and sport optics ranges, as well as a large selection of specialised literature and Leica accessories. Alternating exhibitions will be held at the Leica Gallery. The opening exhibition, Mein Blick, also honours Koelbl on the occasion of her 80th birthday. (Ulrich Rüter)

The Leica Store and Leica Gallery at Calwer Straße 41, are open Mondays to Fridays from 10:00 to 19:00, and on Saturdays from 10:00 to 18:00.
© Dominic Pencz/Leica Gallery Stuttgart
© Herlinde Koelbl: Wolfgang Joop, Potsdam, 2002
© Dominic Pencz/Leica Galerie Stuttgart
© Herlinde Koelbl: Harald G., freelance artist, from the series „The German Living Room“, 1980
© Herlinde Koelbl: Munich, 1985, from the series „Posh People“

Herlinde Koelbl

Born on October 31, 1939 in Lindau, Koelbl first studied fashion in Munich. She discovered and taught herself photography in the mid seventies. Most of her work is made up of long-term projects of her own choice. Her first exhibition, Frauen in Deutschland (Women in Germany) was held at the Goethe Institute in Ankara in 1979. She was published in Stern early on, and in the following years appeared in all important magazines. She worked in the 35mm field with Leica cameras, and in medium format also with a Hasselblad. Some of her projects evolved into documentary films, such as Spuren der Macht. Die Verwandlung durch das Amt (Traces of Power. Transformation through the Agency. 1999) and Die Meute. Macht und Ohnmacht der Medien (The Pack. The Power and Impotence of the Media. 2001), in addition to video installations such as Wille, Macht und Wandel (Will, Power and Change. 2005), Goldmund (2005) and Haare (Hair. 2007). Koelbl has received a number of awards including the Leica Medal of Excellence (1987), the Dr. Erich Salomon Award of the DGPh (2001), the Federal Cross of Merit (2009) and the Bavarian Order of Merit (2013). The photographer lives and works in Neuried near Munich.


On the occasion of her birthday, the Leica Classic segment of the upcoming issue of LFI magazine is honouring the photographer with a portfolio of her work.
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