Rudolf Koppitz - Photographs New York Wednesday, October 14, 2020 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Jackson Fine Art, Atlanta, 2011

  • Literature

    Conklin and Faber, Rudolf Koppitz 1884-1936, cover and p. 83
    Faber, Rudolf Koppitz: Photogenie 1884-1936, p. 133

  • Catalogue Essay

    Bewegungsstudie (Movement Study) is the signature image from Rudolf Koppitz’s oeuvre. The photograph’s sophisticated composition contains elements of Modernism, Pictorialism, and Surrealism, and also relates to the Viennese Secession and the Wienner Werkstätte movements in its stylized grace and perfection of craft. Taken in 1925, Bewegungsstudie became Koppitz’s most famous image during his lifetime and was frequently exhibited and reproduced.

    Rudolf Koppitz was perhaps the most accomplished Austrian photographer of his day. Born in Czechoslovakia, Koppitz studied, worked, and taught in Vienna for most of his career. He took advantage of the international network of camera clubs and salons to ensure that his work was widely seen. Today, Koppitz’s work is appreciated but difficult to categorize. Elements of his life and creative development parallel that of his contemporaries. Like Edward Steichen, he served as an aerial combat photographer in World War I. With Heinrich Kühn he shared a belief in the beauty and redemptive value of nature. Like Pierre Dubreuil he achieved fame in his own day as a creator of entirely novel imagery that had no direct corollary in the photography of the time. He shared with these photographers a deep understanding of photographic craft and utilized a repertoire of techniques to execute his photographic ideas. Despite these resemblances, Koppitz’s work and his aesthetic are distinctly his own.


Bewegungsstudie (Movement Study)

Gelatin silver print.
8 5/8 x 6 3/8 in. (21.9 x 16.2 cm)
Blindstamp credit on the recto; 'Wien, V Zeinlhoferg. 8' credit stamp and notations in unidentified hands in pencil on the verso.

$70,000 - 90,000 

Contact Specialist

Sarah Krueger
Head of Department, Photographs

Vanessa Hallett
Worldwide Head of Photographs and Deputy Chairwoman, Americas



New York Auction 14 October 2020