Tata Ronkholz

Art Estate

Tata Ronkholz (1940 - 1997)

Tata Ronkholz was born in 1940 in Krefeld under the female name Roswitha Tolle. She studied architecture and interior design at the School of Applied Arts in Krefeld. Thereafter, she completed a one-year apprenticeship at the Schroer Furniture Store in Krefeld. She subsequently began work as a freelance product designer. Tata Ronkholz first encountered photography through her husband, Coco Ronkholz, who managed the production of a catalogue for Bernd Becher. In 1977, she enrolled in the State Art Academy in Düsseldorf and studied photography shortly thereafter with Prof. Becher. Along with Volker Döhne, Andreas Gursky, Candida Höfer, Axel Hütte, Thomas Ruff, and Thomas Struth, Ronkholz counts among Becher's earliest (and later legendary) students at the Academy. In 1985, she gave up photography and worked for photography agency in Cologne from 1985-95 to support herself. In 1997, Ronkholz died at Burg Kendenich near Cologne. Her photographs of refreshment stands, of which few remain, were arguably her most substantial works. In 1978, she also began to collaborate with Thomas Struth on documenting the Rhine harbor. Ronkholz called her final group of photographs "Schaufenster" (Display Windows.).

VAN HAM manages the archive of the deceased photographer Tata Ronkholz, who belonged to Bernd Becher's first group of students at the Düsseldorf Art Academy. The archive contains prints, contact sheets, and several negatives, along with all of her correspondence and the plans used in her later interior design work.

The photographer's archive also contains three archival books in A-6 format. It is said that Ronkholz always carried these books with her while she took photographs. The archival books also display archival numbers assigned by Ronkholz, as well as information on the working groups "Trinkhalle" (Refreshment Stands), "Industrietore" (Industrial Gates), and "Schaufenster" (Display Windows). One of the books is dedicated to industrial or factory gates, while the other two books document her photographs of refreshment stands and display windows.

Parallel to the art fair photokina, and in the context of the "International Photo Scene," VAN HAM presented in 2001 a selection of Ronkholz's quintessential photographic works of refreshment stands and industrial buildings. The project also entails marketing Ronkholz's work as well as creating a catalogue raisonné of her oeuvre. VAN HAM has achieved the three highest prices for the artist (As of: 08.05.2013 according to artprice.com).