Ulrich Wüst exhibit at The Chrysler Museum of Art

Norfolk’s Chrysler Museum of Art is anticipating the unveiling of Public and Private: East Germany in Photographs by Ulrich Wüst. The works by the German photographer, taken during the Cold War era, will be on display in the Museum’s Frank Photography Gallery and Focus Gallery from November 17th, 2016 through March 26th, 2017, admission is free.

The exhibit delves into a view of East German public planning under Socialist rule and how private life resisted conformity. Views of the previously totalitarian state and changes of Berlin before and after reunification are seen in Wüst’s work giving you a peek behind the Iron Curtain. Photos of house parties, nightclubs, and shop windows taken by Wüst display the struggle for self-expression and individuality during this time in history under the forced sameness in the totalitarian states. This is the German photographer’s first solo exhibition in the United States featuring 84 black and white prints and more than 200 album-mounted prints. Though trained as an urban planner, Ulrich Wüst took up photography in the 1970s as a rhetorical and documentary tool for studying the development of cities for his work. Through this, Wüst developed a fascination with the outward appearance of East German cities that turned into the focus on the interior lives of the people inhabiting them.

“With gritty immediacy, Wüst’s photos convey the sense of depersonalization in cities beset by standardized housing and looming monuments,” says Seth Feman, Curator of Exhibitions and Acting Curator of Photography at the Chrysler. “Simultaneously, he reveals the creative interior lives of those living amid the totalitarian state’s regime of sameness.”

The show is curated by Gary Van Zante of the MIT Museum, in collaboration with the artist and Loock Gallery, Berlin. Join Van Zante on Thursday, November 17th at 2PM for a free gallery talk regarding the exhibit.

“Ulrich Wüst’s photography was largely unknown in the West until after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Since then, his work has come to be recognized as one of the strongest aesthetic statements made in the Socialist state,” Van Zante says.

The show is in chronological range from the 1970s to recent projects, documenting changing Berlin through the years. Be sure to visit the Chrysler Museum to see Wüst’s work, a collection of beautiful images that represent an important piece of German history.