ringl and pit

Last chance! From Bauhaus to Buenos Aires: Grete Stern and Horacio Coppola, featuring the work of two leading avant-garde photographers, closes Sunday.

[ringl + pit. Hut und Handschuhe (Hat and Gloves). 1930. Gelatin silver print, 14 7/8 x 9 3/4″ (37.8 x 24.8 cm). The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles © 2015 Estate of Horacio Coppola]

Ringl+Pit (Grete Stern and Ellen Auerbach)      Bertold Brecht      1935


General, your tank
is a powerful vehicle
it smashes down forests
and crushes a hundred men.
but it has one defect:
it needs a driver.
–Bertolt Brecht, “General, Your Tank Is a Powerful Vehicle”, in “From a German War Primer”,  the Svendborg Poems, 1939

Ellen Auerbach & Gret Stern (ringl + pit) Eckstein with lipstick, 1930

In the late 1920s, Ellen Auerbach and Grete Stern both studied in Berlin at the Bauhaus School of Art before establishing a commercial photographic studio, ringl + pit (named for their childhood nicknames: ringl [Stern] and pit [Auerbach]). Although only a marginal commercial success, their business—which lasted three years—specialized in advertising and portrait photography. Their collaboration produced photographs that differed significantly from accepted advertising conventions for depicting women. In this image, the photographers made ingenious use of a mirror to provide product information from an unusual viewpoint and to create a striking work of art. Source: clevelandart.org