20. May – 04. September 2022

The major retrospective on CHARLOTTE MARCH (1929–2005) at the Falckenberg Collection focuses on the previously little-known works of this photographer from Hamburg, who is renowned for her fashion and advertising photos. Charlotte March’s estate, which belongs to the Falckenberg Collection, forms the basis for a rediscovery of this photographer, who worked for magazines such as Brigitte, Stern, Elle, Vogue Italia, Vanity Fair, Harper’s Bazaar, and Twen. Her 1977 book Mann, oh Mann: Ein Vorschlag zur Emanzipation des attraktiven Mannes was widely discussed, since it was the first to explicitly show a female view of the male body.

With some 300 works, the exhibition offers an overview of all the artist's creative phases, from her early documentary photographs in Hamburg in the 1950s to photographs from her visits to the island of Ischia, which was still untouched by mass tourism at the time, to later international fashion and advertising commissions.

March’s largely unknown early photographic work from the 1950s builds on the “humanistic photography” of that time and represents an important yet little-known contribution to the cultural memory of the city of Hamburg. Her highly sensitive view of the fringes of society in post-war Hamburg led her to marginalized, completely unglamorous places in this city in transition. March offers a glimpse behind the scenes and shows the daily life of candy makers, retailers, and life on the Reeperbahn.

The retrospective will be accompanied by a selection of photographs from the Falckenberg Collection (for a full list of the represented artists see below).

In later commissioned works, March’s gaze points to an emancipatory attitude and a feeling of freedom and social upheaval. Charlotte March wanted her models to look different than was customary at the time. She communicated through photography with her models, whose modern, independent attitude toward life she shared, open to what everyday life or fate gave her at the time she took the photograph. She showed women smoking in front of the camera or advertising beer. She propagated a modern image of women and was revolutionary and style-defining, also because she was one of the first photographers in Germany to work with black models as a matter of course.

After the death of Charlotte March’s partner, the Hamburg artist and actor Balduin Baas, Harald Falckenberg took over her estate in 2006 and ensured that her work could be archived and researched. The Charlotte March estate comprises some 30,000 photographs and is currently housed at the Falckenberg Collection.

The exhibition at the Falckenberg Collection was curated by Goesta Diercks and Dirk Luckow in close cooperation with Manju Sahwney, a photographer and longtime assistant to March as well as archivist of the estate, as part of the 8th Triennial of Photography in Hamburg in 2022.

Artists represented from the Falckenberg Collection: Vito Acconci, Lewis Baltz, Jerry Berndt, Monica Bonvicini, Thorsten Brinkmann, Larry Clark, Sue de Beer, Philip-Lorca diCorcia, William Eggleston, Walker Evans, Valie Export, Günther Förg, Lee Friedlander, Nan Goldin, Fergus Greer, Nathalie Grenzhäuser, Thomas Grünfeld, Herbert Hoffmann, Dennis Hopper, Christian Jankowski, Jürgen Klauke, Astrid Klein, Sharon Lockhart, Joel Meyerowitz, Henrik Olesen, Irving Penn, Angelika Platen, Peter Piller, Sigmar Polke, Martha Rosler, Sam Samore, Markus Schinwald, Gregor Schneider, Andrea Stappert, Wolfgang Tillmans, Muir Vidler.