In memoriam Frank Wagner

On Wednesday morning June 1st Frank Wagner, who chaired the first Pride Photo Award jury in 2011, passed away. We are very sorry to hear this sad news and wish his family and friends, and everyone who knew him, strength to bear this loss.
Frank Wagner © Linelle Deunk, jury 2011
Frank was a very clever, witty man, who curated many important exhibitions. In 2014 he was artistic director of the 6th European Month of Photography Berlin (MdF), the largest German photo festival where he curated the central exhibition of the festival at the Martin-Gropius-Bau: ‘MemoryLab: The Sentimental Turn. Photography challenges History’.
As an art historian, he was knowledgeable about the entire fine art spectrum, and he created many shows that included a variety of disciplines, several of which were themed around sexual and gender diversity, including the seminal show ‘The Eighth Square: Gender, Life and Desire in Art Since 1960‘ about gender and desire at the Museum Ludwig, Cologne (2006, including 82 artists on all levels of the museum, spanning 3500 square meters) – which was the first queer show in a German museum – and ‘Just Different’, at the Cobra Museum, Amsterdam/Amstelveen (2008).
In 2013-2014 he conceived several sequential exhibitions: ‘LOVE AIDS RIOT SEX‘, which focused on the topic of AIDS and Art since 1985 until the present within three exhibitions stringed together and overlaid in Berlin. Already back in 1988 he put together the exhibit ‘Full-Blown Image AIDS. An exhibit about Life and Death’ for the Neue Gesellschaft fuer Bildende Kunst Berlin (nGbK), a show which turned out to be the first one of its kind in Europe.
While these exhibitions were our primary reason for inviting him to chair the first jury in 2011, they formed but a small part of his work. He organized many retrospectives, solo and groups shows, such as recently ‘Toni Schmale SUPEREGO’ at the nGbK.
He will be missed.

Pride Photo Award is an annual international contest for photos about sexual and gender diversity.


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