Burkhard Arnold Director of In Focus Galerie


Portrait-Arnold-1

Logo_infocus_CMYK_grossThe In Focus Galerie was founded in 1990 und shows photography in its whole range, classic journalistic-, portrait-, staged-, concept-, nude- and architecture photography (vintage and later prints) from 1945 up to today. In five exhibitions per year, the gallery presents acclaimed photograpers as well as young talents. The gallery regularly participates in art fairs. Last participation was in 2016 at artKarlsruhe. The gallery has mounted over 150 exhibitions and published more than a dozen books and catalogs. Since its inception over 25 years ago, in focus Gallery has built a vast and ever-changing collection of some of the most important photographs in the medium. (Bruce Davidson, René Groebli, Arnold Newman, Thomas Hoepker, Marc Riboud, Willy Ronis, Franco Fontana, Jan Saudek, Greg Gorman, Frank Horvat, Arno Rafael Minkkinen, William Ropp, Elliott Erwitt, Abe Frajndlich, Gilbert Garcin, Floris M. Neusüss, F. C. Gundlach, Heinrich Heidersberger) Active cooperations are maintained with a number of institutions, museums and partner galleries. In addition to the gallery exhibitions, the work of the gallery includes long-term consulting for collections, curating and arranging exhibitions in collaboration with international institutions as well as publishing monographs and catalogues.  The foremost commitment of in focus gallery is to extend an awareness of and appreciation for fine art photography. [In Focus Galerie]

Can you please introduce yourself for those who don’t know?

I fall in love with photography at the age of 14. Since then photography has been part of my life. 35 years ago I started teaching dark room techniques as well as creating good images. Over the last 25 years I was often invited to be a reviewer at different photofestivals and institutuions such as Houston Fotofest, Rhubarb Festival in Burmingham, Photoszene Cologne.

Could you tell me a little bit about In Focus Galerie?

The in focus gallery was founded in 1990. The gallery shows photography in its whole range, from classic journalistic- over portrait-, staged-, concept-, nude- to architecture photography, (vintage and later prints) from 1945 up to today. 
In five exhibitions per year, the gallery presents acclaimed photo- graphers as well as young talents. The gallery regularly partici- pates at art fairs. Last participation was in 2016 at artKarlsruhe. The gallery has mounted over 150 exhibitions and published more than a dozen books and catalogs. Active co-operations are main- tained with a number of institutions, museums and partner gal- leries. 
Since its inception over 25 years ago, in focus Gallery has built a vast and ever-changing collection of some of the most important photographs in the medium. (Bruce Davidson, René Groebli, Arnold Newman, Thomas Hoepker, Marc Riboud, Willy Ronis, Franco Fontana, Jan Saudek, Greg Gorman, Frank Horvat, Arno Rafael Minkkinen, William Ropp, Elliott Erwitt, Abe Frajndlich, Gilbert Garcin, Floris M. Neusüss, Gottfried Jäger) 
In addition to the gallery exhibitions, the work of the gallery includes long-term consulting for collections, curating and arranging exhibitions in collaboration with international institutions as well as publishing monographs and catalogues.

In general, what is your goal in curating art exhibitions?

The foremost commitment of in focus gallery is to extend an awareness of and appreciation for fine art photography.

What is the secret of making a gallery successful?

There is no secret – a gallery has the possibilty to be succesful by making good exhibitons and working hard over many years.
In addition a gallery has to be sucessful in public relation and needs to be well settled in the network of press.

How did you select the participating artists?

Because we are running the gallery for over 27 years we are lucky to say that we have been working with a numerous amount of fantastic artists. Therefore new postitions need to prove criterias like fitting in the general conception of the gallery and they aren’t allowed be in competition with artists and concepts that are already shown by the gallery. New positions have to complement the gallerys program or occur a dispute between different concepts. Furthermore I am searching for artists who are creating and developing an own style and ideas which lead to an distinctive own handwriting. Nevertheless the personal traids of an artist according to reliability, trust, coworking and respect are really important.

What advice do you have for artists who have yet to find gallery representation– should they sit back, create, and wait for that day to come… or should they focus on self-marketing their art work?

The most important advice I would give an artist is not only to sit back and be aware of his own art work, it can be more helpful to build a critical view on his own work related to recent tendencies as well as to the history of photography. 
Before going to a gallery it is important to go out and make your first experiences with your art and the resonance of the publicity.
You have to learn how to deal with critic and see whether your con- cepts and ideas are comprehensible for the people. I warmly rec- ommend young artists to visit the international portfolio reviews where they get a lot of helpful respond and critics and learn to stand in for their own art.
To establish young artist the gallery has to invest a lot of money. This is why these experiences mean a lot to the gallery’s owner.
It is important to be informed about the gallery’s concepts and pro- gram before applying. Before showing your portfolio make a strong selection of your art, no more than 20 to 30 images. The portfolio should be characteristic for your art work. Think in series, don’t add the ‘best of’ from single photographs. Contact the gallery and make an appointment before showing your portfolio.
It is hard to become part of the galleries program. Setbacks shouldn’t stop you from retrying over and over again. To promote yourself it is always a good idea to rule an informative website.

How would you sum up contemporary photography?

The market for contemporary photography as collectable and as artwork is very small, even if the market is constantly growing. There is excessive supply for contemporary photography. Only a small part will be recognized in the art market.

Are there any future projects you are excited about and would like to share with us?

We are hardly working on an exhibition which starts in January 2017 ‘Photography without Camera’. It deals with photograms, lu- minograms and chemigrams from acclaimed artist who are con- ceptional working in this field since decades (Gottfried Jäger, Floris M. Neusüss, Roger Humbert, Pierre Cordier, Karl Martin Holzhäus- er, Jack Sal, Kilian Breier). In times of digital imaging we are going back to the roots of photography. We are showing cameraless pho- tography from 1960ties up to day. The small as well as large sizes most unique pieces impress with their timelessness and de-materi- alization.

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Elliott Erwitt & Burkhard Arnold (2014)

 

Greg-Gorman_in_focus_Galerie_2012
Greg Gorman / In focus Galerie (2012)
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Rene Groebli & Burkhard Arnold
In Focus Galler
In Focus Galerie
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