August Sander

Aviator, 1920 (1920)

About this artwork

The ‘Sport’ portfolio falls slightly out of line with the others included in ‘The Farmer’, in August Sander’s photographic opus ‘People of the 20th Century’. The portfolio is composed of a collection of images situated between the rural and urban sphere, in a range of popular leisure activities. It includes individual, double and group portraits. This closely framed portrait has no need of its title, since the man’s costume of leather jacket and cap, flight goggles and scarf, make his hobby clear. Shot against a blank wall, or screen, Sander employs a muted middle palette of greys which allows the subject’s face to be the image’s quiet focal point. His face is youthfully serene, with a smooth brow and full lips, gazing straight ahead into the camera lens.

see media
  • title: Aviator, 1920
  • accession number: AL00030
  • artist: August SanderGerman (1874 - 1964)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Photograph
  • medium: Embossed paper in frame
  • date created: 1920
  • measurements: 26.00 x 19.00 cm (paper 44.00 x 33.90 cm; mount: 46.00 x 36.00 cm) (framed: 48.20 x 38.20 x 3.20 cm)
  • credit line: ARTIST ROOMS National Galleries of Scotland and Tate. Lent by Anthony d'Offay 2010
  • copyright: © Die Photographische Sammlung/SK Stiftung Kultur - August Sander Archiv, Köln/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn and DACS, London 2016.
This artwork is part of Artist Rooms

August Sander

August Sander

Considered one of the finest photographers of the twentieth century, Sander's bold style of portrait photography, as well as his typological approach, has had an enormous influence on modern photography. During his apprenticeship in several German studios and his time in his own studio in Austria, he developed his individual style. Then in 1910 Sander moved to Cologne and produced his first large group of photographs, which he later included in his concept "People of the 20th Century". This was created in the mid-1920s and compiled up until the 1950s. He photographed groups of people in his native Germany, classifying them according to their occupations and positions in society.