Institut für
Kunstdokumentation und

Exhibition / upcoming:

Two Rivers: Joachim Brohm / Alec Soth

NRW-Forum Duesseldorf

28 March - 7 July 2019

Curator / Concept: Ralph Goertz


Two photographers, two rivers: The exhibition "Two Rivers" presents the most important photographic works by the German artist Joachim Brohm and the American photographer Alec Soth. In a world premiere, the exhibition unites works from a total of eight series, including Alec Soth's main work "Sleeping by the Mississippi" and Joachim Brohm's famous "Ruhr" series.



"This exhibition is sensational"

Helga Meister, Westdeutsche Zeitung


Ralph Goertz, Alec Soth, Joachim Brohm


"Curator Ralph Goertz, head of the IKS, has once again succeeded in presenting a contemporary photography exhibition that presents young classics of modern photographic art." The institute is not afraid to spread  familiar positions, offering not only considerable works - a total of ten photo groups - but also individual photographs. that have not been shown yet."

Achim Lettmann, Westfälischer Anzeiger


"Two Rivers" in dialogue with "Ohio" by Joachim Brohm


"Ohio", Joachim Brohm


"A few years ago, curator Ralph Goertz had already given a forum to New York photographer Joel Meyerowitz in Dusseldorf and celebrated great successes by inviting Minneapolis-based photographer Alec Soth to an exhibition. Goertz presents their works on blue painted walls mixing the "Sleeping By The Mississippi" series with Brohm's "Ruhr" into a flow of images. Is that Brohm or Soth? Essen-Kettwig or New Orleans?"


"In fact, the works are always in symbiosis. The borders are blurring."

Klas Libuda, Rheinische Post


"Two Rivers" in dialogue with "Ohio" by Joachim Brohm


Introdution text on "Two Rivers" and the series "Ohio" by Joachim Brohm


The exhibition focuses on Alec Soth's series "Sleeping by the Missisippi" and Joachim Brohm's series "Ruhr", which portray people on the periphery of the river. Brohm, who studied at the Folkwang Hochschule, is a visual artist who expresses himself with the medium of photography. Soth is a lyrical documentary photographer in the tradition of Robert Frank, Stephen Shore and Michael Schmidt.


Frankie, Fort Jefferson Memorial Cross, Wickliffe, Kentucky © Alec Soth / Magnum Photos


Essen. 1982 © Joachim Brohm / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2019


"The Mississippi, that is Huckleberry Finn, is raft and adventure, the Ruhr, that is simple: area. The show at the NRW-Forum Düsseldorf smoothly unites the association that the photo series by Joachim Brohm and Alec Soth are meandering works of art even if there are almost 20 years and one continent between the ranks."

Britta Heidemann, Westfalenpost


"Paradis" by Joachim Brohm in dialogue with the "Two Rivers"


"Paradis" by Joachim Brohm in dialogue with the "Two Rivers"


"What connects the two artists is a documentary-artistic view that identifies them as sensitive documentarians of their social environment."

Ralph Goertz, curator


Bochum, 1983 © Joachim Brohm / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2019


Ste. Genevieve, Missouri © Alec Soth / Magnum Photos


The exhibition brings together a total of ten groups of works by the two photographers. Alongside the well-known series "Ruhr" and "Ohio" by Joachim Brohm and "Sleeping by the Mississippi", "Niagara" and "Songbook" by Alec Soth, the exhibit also presents Joachim Brohm's rare work "Flash Ohio" for the first time next to "Tokio, 2015" by Alec Soth.


"Misty, 2005" by Alec Soth in dialogue with the "Two Rivers"


"Niagara", Alec Soth


"Two Rivers" and "Songbook"


"Songbook", Alec Soth


"Flash Ohio", Joachim Brohm


Joachim Brohm and Alec Soth discussing the neue series "Flash Ohio" by Joachim Brohm


Ralph Goertz, curator of the exhibition, worked on the concept for a total of two years. In addition to the dialogical integration of the TWO RIVERS, the challenge was also the integration of the further groups of works of the two photographers.


"Like cities along the rivers, the works by Joachim Brohm and Alec Soth are always in dialogue with the TWO RIVERS."

Ralph Goertz, curator


Joachim Brohm explains curator Ralph Goertz the specifics of his analogue prints from the late 70s


Joachim Brohm observing the hanging


"Dessau Files", Joachim Brohm


"Culatra", Joachim Brohm


Joachim Brohm

is a visual artist who expresses himself trough the medium of photography. Since the 1980s he had a huge influence to establish photography as an art form in Germany. In his first internationally acclaimed series "Ruhr" (1980-1983) he documented the leisure behavior of people on the banks of the Ruhr. Brohm belongs to the photographers of the Düsseldorf photo school and is one of the most important photographic artists in Germany. In his often documentary-oriented works, he deals with the structures of urban development and the urban periphery - with all its social, sociological, economic and cultural implications. He was artistically trained and influenced at the Folkwang Hochschule in the tradition of Otto Steinert and Michael Schmidt, but also through his Fulbright scholarship at Ohio State University, where he studied photography with Allan Sekula.


Joachim Brohm at his Studio in Leipzig


Gelsenkirchen, 1982 © Joachim Brohm / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2019


Alec Soth

Since his first major work "Sleeping by the Mississippi" in 2004, Alec Soth has been recognized as one of the most important photographers on the international photographic scene. He is a visual artist, magnum photographer, blogger, publisher and educator. Soth explores the different forms of the media of photography and how they present themselves in the world. As a lyrical documentary photographer - in the tradition of Robert Frank, Stephen Shore and Michael Schmidt - Soth sees himself primarily as an American photographer. The landscapes of the United States, the majestic Mississippi, the thundering Niagara Falls, the vast and open deserts, the small towns and suburbs: all have created the structure and setting for his poetic studies of American life.


Alec Soth during a shootings in Grand Rapids


Charles, Vasa, Minnesota © Alec Soth / Magnum Photos


Catalogue with texts by Vince Leo, Wolfgang Ullrich and Ralph Goertz. Published by Koenig Books, London


The design of the new catalogue was developed by the IKS - Institute for Art Documentation.


Catalogue "Two Rivers. Joachim Brohm / Alec Soth"


Exklusive Edition "Essen, 1982" by Joachim Brohm


Joachim Brohm. Essen, 1982


In Occasion of the exhibition "Two Rivers. Joachim Brohm / Alec Soth" at the NRW-Forum Duesseldorf, the IKS will publish an exclusive Edition of his work "Essen, 1982" from his international best known series RUHR.

Available as an Edition of 100 + 10 a.p. (numbered and signed)

Paper size: 40x50cm / Photo size: 26x32cm

Prize: € 540,- including VAT, plus shipping and package

Passepartout and Frame on request.


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