On Tuesday, October 15 at 6:30 pm at the Cercle Cité in Luxembourg author Gerd Hurm will present his new book (in German) and answer questions from Hubert Spiegel, photography expert and editor of the cultural section of the "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung".
The fascinating life and world-famous work of Edward Steichen, an American photographer of Luxembourg origin and a multi-talented artist, is at the center of this monography, which is conceived as a reinterpretation of the history of modern art as well as a biography. On the basis of new research, Gerd Hurm explains why, in works on 20th century art, Edward Steichen, his artistic projects and his commitment to pacifism, human rights, equality and ecology, are rarely discussed. Gerd Hurm's study thus offers a new and unsuspected perspective on Steichen's work. Luxembourg's Steichen collections, first and foremost "The Family of Man" on show in Clervaux (World Heritage Documentary, UNESCO, 2003), play a special role in his book which will appear in the series "biographies luxembourgeoises" published by Editions Saint -Paul in collaboration with the Centre national de l'audiovisuel (CNA).
The author writes in his study: "Steichen is one of the great enigmas of modernity. Born in Luxembourg, he grew up in Milwaukee and worked successfully in Europe and the United States, leaving a breathtaking work. He has worked as an avant-garde photography artist and plant breeder, war reporter and children's book illustrator, fashion photographer and museum director, ecologist and conceptual artist, textile designer and curator. In his life as in his work, he has campaigned for pacifism, human rights, multicultural tolerance and gender equality. Intellectuals and artists as diverse as August Rodin and Eleanor Roosevelt, Dorothea Lange and August Sander, Gerhard Richter and Angela Davis, Consuelo Kanaga and Sebastião Salgado reacted enthusiastically to Steichen's artistic projects. Nevertheless, even in the twenty-first century, art critics remain extremely divided as to the impact of his work on the evolution of modern art. "
Gerd Hurm, born in 1958, is a professor of American literature and culture, director of the Center for American Studies at the University of Trier, a member of the Advisory Board of the Obama Institute at JGU Mainz and a Fulbright Liaison Professor. His areas of specialization in American studies include literature, political rhetoric, urban and gender research, and media and modern arts. He is co-editor of the critically acclaimed anthology "The Family of Man Revisited: Photography in the Age of Globalization" (2018).