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Crossing the boundaries of photography is celebrated

Crossing the boundaries of photography is celebrated


She photographed historical artworks professionally, but in her spare time, Elfried Majchar turned to unspectacular or unsightly objects such as industrial monuments. To celebrate her 100th birthday, the Lower Austria State Gallery in Krems is displaying her most important works.

Alfred Majchar/ State Collections of Lower Austria

Photographer Alfred Majchar

She was a pioneer. “I anticipated a lot of things that then found a broader level in the mid-1970s,” says museum curator Alexandra Chantel, describing the workings of the cross-border traveler to Majchar always worked in black and white and managed to bring a certain liveliness to her images through conscious lighting.

Raised in Lower Austria, she was fascinated from her youth by the bombed air base at Markersdorf (St. Pölten district), which she visited repeatedly since 1947 in order to photograph its changes. From the beginning, they were less interested in people and more in things that were supposedly meaningless, ugly, or destructive. She was often drawn to Vienna's overgrown suburbs and wandered through industrial ruins with her camera.

Keep things from disappearing

Majchar worked professionally as a photographer for the Federal Monuments Office for 40 years, and in her spare time developed her own artistic focus since the mid-1950s. On the one hand, she wanted to save objects from disappearing forever, but later she also focused on studies of plants and strange still lifes. In the 1990s I went in search of beautiful ugliness. She experimented with collages and showed off her sense of humor.

Although Magchar is considered one of the most important figures in Austrian photography, she did not gain public recognition until she was very old. In 2004, she won the Artistic Photography Award from the state of Lower Austria. The artist died in Vienna in 2020 at the age of 96.

A photo series containing 9 photos

The State Gallery displays 300 works

About 300 works from 50 years can now be seen in the State Gallery. All of the works come from the State Collections of Lower Austria, which received Majchar's life's works as a donation in 2013. The retrospective also takes up the theme of analogue photography and features equipment such as a historic Linhof camera from the artist's estate. “Al Farida Majchar” Exhibition. The Border Crosser of Photography exhibition runs until February 16, 2025.

Three different museums are currently honoring the works of Alfreda Majchar on the occasion of her 100th birthday: in addition to the Landesgalerie, the Vienna Museum and the Moderne Salzburg Museum also display the work of the Austrian master of photography.

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