Crystals, 1938 - 1939


In his morphology of the Wadden Sea, Ehrhardt tried to discover a cosmologic order which permeates man and matter alike. These natural regularities seemed to present themselves even more clearly to him in the mathematically determinable form of supposedly lifeless crystals. From 1938 on Ehrhardt photographed in many mineralogical institutes in German speaking countries and created a "crystalography" of 600 images, the first one of this large scale. He composed with a feeling for form and material that was characteristic to the Bauhaus-educated artist. He did not select according to scientific aspects, but to aethetic aspects. By heavily modulating the light, Ehrhardt made the "inner energy" of the crystals visible. Close-ups abstract an ornamental pattern, which emphasize the contrast between the geometric figures cuboid, pyramid, octohedron and the dynamic chaos of growth without structure.

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