Amsterdam: Willemsparkweg 134H
Exhibition lasts until Saturday, May 28 2022.
THOMAS HOEPKER – THE WAY IT WAS is the first solo exhibition in the Netherlands to feature work by this renowned Magnum photographer. The show presents a comprehensive retrospective, ranging from his early work from the 1960s, when Hoepker travelled widely both through the United States and elsewhere, to his iconic portraits of Muhammad Ali and his compelling New York photographs of the 1970s and 1980s. An entire floor will be dedicated to Hoepker’s photos of Ali, including iconic vintage pictures printed by the photographer himself within two years after they had been taken.
Born in Munich in 1936, Hoepker ranks among the foremost German photojournalists of the late 20th century. As such, he not only experienced but also played a defining role in the second golden age of photojournalism, after the 1920s and ’30s. He has made photographic history not only for his contributions to magazines such as Stern, Geo, Kristall and the Münchner Illustrierte, but also as art director, writer and filmmaker. Many of his black-and-white photo essays rank among the greatest of photojournalism.
As a reporter for Stern, he had the opportunity to portray the boxer Muhammad Ali in 1964, continuing to do so at regular intervals for 10 years. In 1966 Hoepker and his then wife, Stern journalist Eva Windmöller, joined the boxing legend in London and Chicago. In 1970, Hoepker was on hand with his camera when Ali, who had been out of the ring for some time, was preparing himself for the “fight of the century” against Joe Frazier. He met up with him again years later when he was already debilitated by Parkinson’s. Many of these pictures are known worldwide and have become icons of photography. They have been widely exhibited in museums and represented in many collections.
In 1976, Hoepker moved to New York as a correspondent for Stern and, until 1981, he was director of the American edition of GEO. From 1987 to 1989, he worked as the Art Director of Stern in Hamburg. In 1989, he became the first German national to be accepted by Magnum as a full member, going on to become president of the agency from 2003 to 2006. Thomas Hoepker is now married to filmmaker Christine Kruchen; he lives and works in New York.