March 31 - May 7, 2016
Opening reception: Thursday, March 31, 6-8 pm
Press release Images

Elisabeth HasE:
An Independent Vision

It is not often that a new discovery is made in historical art. Usually artists whose work holds significance culturally or technologically, are known concurrently with the time they are producing work. Having made such a discovery, it is with great pleasure that Robert Mann Gallery introduces the work of Elisabeth Hase in the exhibition, An Independent Vision. Largely unknown outside of Germany, Hase was photographing during the time of the transition from the Weimar Republic to the Third Reich and through post-WWII Germany. Hase’s photographs are in alignment with the works of a number of avant-garde photographers of the early twentieth century, and yet they demonstrate a unique and independent vision.

Photographing during a tumultuous time, Elisabeth Hase was able to avoid the politicization of her work by establishing her own studio in 1933. This proved to be hugely successful in terms of her own artistic development as she was free to pursue personal exploration. Her self-portraits were created with a large degree of role-playing. In many instances she assumes a persona, and acts out a scene in front of the camera. In one photograph she is sprawled over a staircase as if fallen, with shoes and purse strewn likewise over the stairs. These works capture critiques on gender roles, as well as exploration of personal identity and perceived reality. Hase’s focus on self-dramatization pre-anticipates the conceptual portraiture of Cindy Sherman. In another image, Zwei Gefangene (Two Prisoners), the social criticism is grossly apparent. Hase explored other genres in photography such as still lives, street scenes, reportage, to name a few and in each body of work she displayed equal talent.

This is the first exhibition of Elisabeth Hase’s photographs outside of Germany. Hase's photographs are a part of the permanent collections of the Folkwang Museum in Germany, as well as the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Her work has been shown in museums across Germanyand Austria including; the Historical Museum, Frankfurt; the Museum of Photography, Braunschweig; and the Photo-Collection of the Albertina Museum, Vienna. Additionally The Estate of Walter Gropius includes original Hase’s in its collection at the Bauhaus Archive Museum of Design, Berlin. Recently Hase's work was included in the exhibition "Who is Afraid of Women Photographers?" at the Musée d'Orsay, Paris, France.

The New York Times

Art Once Hidden From Hitler, Now on View
Vicki Goldberg | March 31, 2016

A woman out shopping has fallen — splat! — onto her face on a stairway, hat still primly on head, stocking seams properly straight, purse and one shoe gone astray. She is armored for a foray in search of department store bounty but this photograph is not a decisive moment. It is a bit of role-playing, a self-portrait in disguise, by Elisabeth Hase, a German photographer (1905-1991) who wore shirts and sometimes ties rather than heels and hats and looked down on women trapped in such decorum.

Ms. Hase (pronounced HAH-suh) made architectural photographs, portraits, landscapes, advertisements and reportage to earn her living through the growing German illustrated press during the years leading up to World War II. Yet her art, which spoke eloquently in the modernist photographic language that the Bauhaus visual theorist Laszlo Moholy-Nagy called the New Vision (unexpected angles and compositions that responded to a world remade by technology) stayed quietly in her studio. She was cautious. She surely knew of Hitler’s disdain for modern (i.e., decadent) art. Ms. Hase’s private images were never exhibited during her lifetime.
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El País

Elisabeth Hase, ver en la oscuridad
Gloria Crespo MacLennen | April 15, 2016

Le gustaba fotografiarse a sí misma. Caracterizada como una mujer primorosa y femenina que cae de bruces en la escalera tras tropezar con sus tacones, o como alguien que llora tras haber sido condenada por un delito. Pero ella no era así. Ni su estilo andrógino ni su forma de vida podían identificarse con los roles convencionales a los que estaba sometida la mujer, en aquella Alemania que paso a paso se encaminaba a la barbarie de la Segunda Guerra Mundial. Parapetada en su estudio, su obra pasó inadvertida, pero solo así evitó que su arte fuese catalogado de degenerado una vez que Hitler llegó al poder. Elisabeth Hase (Doehlen,1906- Fráncfort, 1991) encontró en solitario una forma de expresión personal que latía con la fuerza y el ritmo de la rutilante vanguardia de entreguerras. Hoy, sale de la oscuridad para ocupar el lugar que le pertenece.

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Elisabeth Hase at Robert Mann Gallery, New York
April 18, 2016

“Elisabeth Hase: An Independent Vision” is on view at Robert Mann Gallery in New York through Saturday, May 7. The exhibition, which is the late artist’s first solo show outside of Germany, presents photographs that span the history of Germany in transition, from the days of the Weimar Republic through the postwar era.

To view the feature, click here.


A Photographer Who Worked Through the Rise and Fall of Nazi Germany Has Her US Debut
Carey Dunnne | April 14, 2016

A tiger behind bars stares down at a man with no legs in a makeshift wheelchair at a Frankfurt zoo. Taken in 1950, “Zwei Gefangene” (“Two Prisoners”) is one of many striking, rarely seen photographs by Elisabeth Hase (1905–91), who documented Germany’s transition from the Weimar Republic to the Third Reich and its postwar devastation. While Hase earned a living through these years as a commercial photographer, working from an independent studio she founded in 1932, she kept her personal art photography a secret, fearing Hitler’s brutal censorship of “degenerate” art. Her private modernist work, which critiqued traditional gender roles and played with perspective in the New Vision style, was never shown during her lifetime.

Now, in the first exhibition of Hase’s work outside of Germany, 34 vintage photographs are on view in Elisabeth Hase: An Independent Vision at Robert Mann Gallery. Ranging from theatrical self-portraits and still lifes of sugar cubes to snapshots of Frankfurt street life, the featured images were culled from a vast archive of negatives and ephemera recently acquired by the gallery. Nani Simonis, Hase’s daughter, spent 20 years organizing the collection of work, which miraculously survived a house fire caused by an Allied bombing raid on Frankfurt in 1944.

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Hamptons Art Hub

"Elisabeth Hase: An Independent Vision" at Robert Mann Gallery
April 13, 2016

"An Independent Vision" introduces the work of Elisabeth Hase, a historic photographer largely unknown outside of Germany. Hase was capturing images during the transition from the Weimar Republic to the Third Reich and through post-WWII Germany with a uniquely independent point of view that was made possible by the establishment of her own studio and offer critiques and commentary following her own artistic sensibilities.

Hase's self-portraits were created with a large degree of role-playing. In many, she assumes a persona and plays out a scene in front of the camera. These works critique gender roles and explore personal identity. Hase also made images of still lives, street scenes and reportage. "An Independent Vision" is Hase's first exhibition outside of Germany.

To view the feature, click here.