November 27, 2013 – January 31, 2014
One of this year’s highlights in the programme of Flo Peters Gallery is an exhibition by german-american photographer Fred Stein. Accompanying a retrospective of his oeuvre at the Jewish Museum, Berlin, this is the first single gallery show in Germany dedicated to his work. Fred Stein was born in Dresden in 1909 and studied jurisprudence in Leipzig. Restrained from job practise for being jewish and politically active, he fled from the NS regime pressure and escaped to Paris in 1933. Stein began to dedicate himself to photography and managed to make a living from the former hobby. He took portraits of many emigrated intellectuals and artists; leading european personalities he and his wife kept company with. Besides that, he went through Paris taking photos of street life scenes – snap shots full of beauty and hope in times of fear and despair. After being put in an internment camp when war broke out, in 1941 Stein and his wife managed to escape to New York. His passion became a real profession: Stein recorded big city street life, shot photographs of New York’s vibrant and calm sides and continued to make portraits of writers, artists, politicians – from Albert Einstein over Dorothy Parker up to Henry Kissinger and Frank Lloyd Wright. Stein’s photographs are quick, sharp studies catching the character of their subjects vividly and poingnantly. He approaches his portraits with the same spontaneousness and frankness as street scenes. This makes his pictures, master pieces of street photography, look so straight, effortless and modern. Until his death in 1957, Fred Stein worked as a successful photographer and publicist; his shots and reportages appeared in books and magazines all over the world. Today his timeless portraits and spirited, often touching scenes are strongly demanded collector’s pieces.