Since the late 1950s, Floris Neusüss (born 1937 in Lennep) has explored photography’s potential beyond its simple portrayal of the world around us. His photos achieve their impact thanks to the tension between the candor of the camera and the potential for surrealist interpretation. Neusüss blends keen consciousness of the technical and historical constraints of photography with a lyrical, even a dreamlike, eye.
Past exhibitions and earlier publications have considered Neusüss’s artistic achievement to be the testing and development of the photogram, camera-less photography that was on show most recently at the “Shadow Catchers” exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London in 2010. The general public generally associates Neusüss with the life size nudes he produced in the 1960s for which L. Fritz Gruber coined the term “Nudogram”. However, Neusüss’s camerawork and his conceptual photography-based work have, to date, received only sporadic attention. A retrospective at the Kassel Arts Association in 1977 was the last occasion on which so many of the works that defined his oeuvre were on display.
To coincide with the artist’s 75th birthday, the Photography Collection of the Münchner Stadtmuseum is now making good this omission with exhibits from its extensive archive. In 2007, Neusüss gave his entire camera photography archive to the Photography Collection of the Münchner Stadtmuseum. It was from Munich that Neusüss drew the artistic inspiration that did much to shape his work. In fact, he had learned his craft at the Bavarian State Photography School – and was able to build on this early training in his artistic creations and in his subsequent teaching activity.
The exhibition shows a representative selection made by the Münchner Stadtmuseum from the Neusüss archive; the works span the years 1958-1983 and fall into four thematic categories: dream images, shop windows, portraits and conceptual photography. The work stretches from Neusüss’s student days to his first teaching post as professor for experimental photography at the University of Kassel and his activities at the Fotoforum.