An exhibition of more than four hundred period photographs taken by the Hollywood actor Dennis Hopper in the 1960s have gone on show, in Germany for the first time in Europe. The photos, which include images of Martin Luther King and Andy Warhol, were found in boxes when Hopper’s house was sold after his death in 2010.
The exhibition, Dennis Hopper – The Lost Album, includes photos of the US civil rights movement and America’s arts and music scene in the mid-1960s. His daughter said it offers an “intimate” glimpse of his youth. The black-and-white small format photos were taken between 1961 and 1967, before Hopper directed and starred in Easy Rider, the film that established his career as an actor.
The portraits archive also include images of the artists Andy Warhol, David Hockney and Roy Lichtenstein and musicians Ike and Tina Turner. Hopper a former art student became a prominent collector after he made it in Hollywood.
The photos were originally compiled for an exhibition in Fort Worth, Texas in 1970, but later they were put into storage and forgotten. Hopper received two Oscar nominations during his career Curators at Berlin’s Martin-Gropius-Bau museum, which previewed the show this week, tried to display the prints in a similar manner to the way they were originally exhibited.
The museum’s curator Petra Giloy-Hirtz described Hopper as “a very serious artist”. “We always see Dennis Hopper as an enfant terrible, someone who was always crazy, but he took his photographic work very, very seriously.” Hopper’s daughter, Marin – who helped to organise the show – said the exhibition provides “a very intimate portrayal of his thought process as an artist”. “I really felt that it was like having a conversation with him. I felt that I missed him very much and I was very happy that I could have this show to have an ongoing dialogue with him,” she said. “I just see him as a young man, having these experiences, taking these pictures, and it’s really valuable for me,” said Hopper’s son, the actor Henry Hopper.
The exhibition runs from Thursday 20 September to 17 December.