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Erwin Blumenfeld at Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York

Until January 7th, 2012 Edwynn Houk Gallery will be presenting its first exhibition of works by renowned fashion photographer, Erwin Blumenfeld (1897-1969). The exhibition features 30 rare vintage prints of Blumenfeld’s groundbreaking work which influenced the course of fashion photography.

Vogue Paris, 1938 © Erwin Blumenfeld Family/Courtesy Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York via La Lettre De La Photographie

Considered one of the early pioneers of fashion photography alongside George Hoyningen-Heune, Cecil Beaton, and Horst P. Horst, Erwin Blumenfeld and his combination of elegance and eroticism transformed fashion into high art and paved the way for Richard Avedon, Irving Penn, Herb Ritts, and others. 


Untitled c. 1953 © Erwin Blumenfeld Family/Courtesy Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York via La Lettre De La Photographie

Blumenfeld often made use of mirrors, glass, and backgrounds reproduced from paintings. He also used veils to distort or elongate the figure, confident that a woman partially concealed was more erotically charged than one seen fully nude.

Untitled, c. 1946 © Erwin Blumenfeld Family/Courtesy Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York via La Lettre De La Photographie

Like Man Ray, he was tirelessly inventive in the darkroom, deploying a variety of optical and chemical tricks, including multiple exposures, solarization and bleaching.

Untitled c. 1953 © Erwin Blumenfeld Family/Courtesy Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York via La Lettre De La Photographie

He also believed the printing of the image was as every bit as important as the process of capturing it, and the exhibition includes a number of his Kodalith prints, in which the contrast between the black and the white is even starker, ideal for the graphic needs of the magazine and its advertisers.

Portrait of Cecil Beaton, 1940’s © Erwin Blumenfeld Family/Courtesy Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York via La Lettre De La Photographie

With the crucial support of Cecil Beaton, who was closely affiliated with Condé Nast, Blumenfeld was awarded a contract with Vogue in 1938. By the 1950’s he was the most accomplished and highest paid fashion photographer in the world.
His work was reproduced in Cosmopolitan, Harper’s Bazaar, Life and Vogue.

Erwin Blumenfeld, until January 7th, 2012 at Edwynn Houk Gallery, 745 Fifth Avenue #407, New York NY 10151

Source/further info: Edwynn Houk Galley

written by webo29

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