A Collection of Photos by Eva Besnyö

Photographer and photojournalist Eva Besnyö was born in Budapest on April 29, 1910, who participated in the Nieuwe Fotografie (New Photography) movement.

In 1928 she began a two-year course of studies at the renowned József Pécsi Portrait, Advertising and Architecture Studio, where she also did her apprenticeship. In 1930 at the age of 20 she decided to move to Berlin, metropolis of the avant-garde, not only in order to get away from home but also in order to leave the Hungary of the Horthy regime. Later she referred to her stay in Berlin as the most important period of her life, meaning that it laid the foundations not only of her photographic practice but also of her political awareness. She became part of the social and political circle of intellectuals which included György Kepes, Joris Ivens, Lászlo Moholy-Nagy, Otto Umbehr and Robert Capa. In 1931, she opened her own studio where she was successful in receiving agency work. Her well-known photograph of the gipsy boy with a cello on his back stems from that period.

Beacause of the political climate she moved to Amsterdam in 1932 with her Dutch friend John Fernhout whom she married. With the assistance of Charley Toorop, she participated in exhibitions which led to commissions in press photography, portraits, fashion and architecture. Her solo exhibition in the Van Lier art gallery in 1933 consolidated her recognition in the Netherlands. Besnyö experienced a further breakthrough with her architectural photography only a few years later: translating the idea of functionalist “New Building” into a “New Seeing”

After the war she again received commissions for documentary work but became less active as she raised her two children fathered by the graphic designer Wim Brusse. In the 1970s, she was active in the Dutch feminist movement Dolle Mina, fighting for equal rights and photographing street protests

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Eva Besnyö, Selfportrait, 1952

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Eva Besnyö, 1939

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Eva Besnyö, Budapest, 1929

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Eva Besnyö, Shadow play web

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Eva Besnyö

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Eva Besnyö

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Eva Besnyö

Photographs by Man Ray (1890-1976)

Man Ray was one of the most famous and original artists of the 20th century; his importance and influence have many aspects. He revolutionised photography through his experiments and then popularised these through his work as a portrait and fashion photographer. Born Emmanuel Rudnitsky in Philadelphia, Man Ray studied painting in New York at the Ferrer Center and early developed an interest in European avant garde art. In 1915 he collaborated with Marcel Duchamp and Francis Picabia in founding the New York Dada movement. His interest in photography was stimulated through friendship with Alfred Stieglitz.

Moving to Paris in 1921 he became one of the leading figures in the European Dadaist and Surrealist movements as a painter, sculptor, maker of objects, photographer, film-maker and writer. Man Ray is associated particularly with experiments in solarization and with the invention of ‘rayographs’, a form of camera-less photography. Iconic images such as Noire et Blanche, Le Violon d’Ingres and haunting portraits of his many friends and colleagues are now embedded within popular consciousness.

 

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Man Ray Prou del Pilar dansant, 1934 via

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Man Ray, Meret Oppenheim, 1935 via

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Man Ray, Untitled, Paris, c. 1930 via

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Man Ray, Mannequin on Staircase, ca. 1930 via

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Man Ray, Untitled, 1931 via

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Lee Miller Man Ray, 1929 via

Vintage Photos Feat. Surrealist Artist Jacqueline Lamba

Jacqueline Lamba (1910 – 1993) was a French painter who participated in the Surrealist Movement between 1934-1947. Very few of Jacqueline Lamba’s surrealist works have survived to this day. They are mainly objects, collage and collective drawings, in which appears the abstract tendency of all her later work.

After studying art during the 1920s Lamba, lost her mother to TB. She then decides to earn her own living. She becomes a French teacher in Cardiff, in Greece, works as a interior decorator in the Trois Quartiers Parisian store, and at night she is a water-dancer at the Coliseum, a cabaret in Pigalle.

On August 14th 1934 she married André Breton, after having met each other the same year. Alberto Giacometti is the bride’s witness, Paul Eluard the poet’s, and Man Ray is the photographer. Jacqueline, who had already published experimental photographs in the ‘Du Cinéma’ review, takes part in the meetings and exhibitions of the surrealist group, with small works, transfers, watercolours, surrealist objects and collective works.

With Breton she had a daughter, Aube Elléouët Breton. She and Breton separated in 1943 and Lamba marries David Hare, an American sculptor. In April 1944 her first personal exhibition is organised.

After her son Merlin is born in New York 1958, her work changes: she breaks away from surrealism and even destroys some of her paintings. In 1955 she brakes up with David, and goes back to settle in Paris with her son in the Latin quarter.  It is a time of liberation and pictorial expression. She goes to the art classes of the Grande Chaumière, paints from still lives and models. She also takes part in a great number of collective exhibitions.

Jacqueline Lamba dies on July 20th 1993. On her tomb, in Saché (Indre-et-Loire), are engraved the following words: Jacqueline Lamba 1910-1993 the night of the sunflower.

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Jacqueline Lamba by Man Ray, 1930 via

 

Breton, Rivera, Trotsky & Jacqueline Lamba

In 1938 Jacqueline goes to Mexico with Breton for a series of conferences; there she meets Diego Rivera, Trotsky, and becomes friends with Frida Kahlo via

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Lamba and Kahlo via

Lamba by Man Ray, 1930s via

Jacqueline Lamba by Rogi André via

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Jacqueline Lamba via

A Collection of Photos by Tina Modotti  (1896 – 1942)

Tina Modotti (1896 – 1942) was an Italian photographer who was active in Mexico.  Modotti was born to a poverty-stricken family in the northern Italian province of Udine. Some have suggested that Modotti was introduced to photography as a young girl, as her uncle, Pietro Modotti, maintained a photography studio.

She emigrated to New York in 1913 with her mother and her siblings when she was 16 to reunite with her father who had left earlier.  After a brief stay, they moved to San Francisco, and Tina went to work in a textile factory. The very poor working conditions left an indelible impression on her. She left the textile factory to start a career in dressmaking, and, at the same time, she was taking part in local Italian theatrical productions.

Tina Modotti, quickly began living an exuberantly bohemian life style. In 1915 she met an artist named Roubaix de L’Abrie Richey, and they married approximately two years later. They relocated to Los Angeles where Tina entered the glitzy world of Hollywood and got parts in several silent films often playing the femme fatale. She appeared in several plays, operas, and silent movies in the late 1910s and early 1920s, and also worked as an artist’s model. Modotti’s movie career culminated in the 1920 film The Tiger’s Coat. She had minor parts in two other films.

Her home was a gathering place for many bohemian artists which included Edward Weston, the famous photographer, and they began a passionate affair despite the fact that they were both married. They moved to Mexico City in 1923. There he taught her photography. Modotti’s early platinum prints were close-up photographs of still-lifes such as wine glasses, folds of fabric or flowers. She also made prints of finely composed architectural spaces. By 1927, when she joined the Communist Party, she was starting to incorporate more overt social content in her work. She also gave up making expensive and time-consuming platinum prints in favour of silver gelatin prints. She focused on the proud faces and hands of mothers, children, artisans and labourers. She was deported from Mexico for her political activities in 1929; during the next decade she dedicated herself to revolutionary and anti-fascist activities in Russia and Spain and took few photographs. In 1939 she returned to Mexico City. In 1942, during a visit by her close friend, Swiss architect Hannes Meyer, Modotti died from heart failure in Mexico City under what is viewed by some as suspicious circumstances.

Although Modotti photographed from 1923–32, her work is relatively scarce. Modotti’s work was rediscovered in the United States when 90 vintage prints were exhibited at the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 1996. Martha Chahroudi, the museum’s curator of photography, organized the exhibit.

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Tina Modotti by Edward Weston

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Tina Modotti by Edward Weston

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Tina Modotti

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Tina Modotti

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Tina Modotti

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Tina Modotti, 1926

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Tina Modotti, 1924

Film Career – Tina Modotti in The Tiger´s Coat

Tina Modotti in the The Tiger’s Coat

A Collection of Photos by Dora Maar (1907-1997)

The Surrealist photographer Dora Maar (1907-1997) is better known as Picasso’s dark-haired model, muse and companion in the late 1930s than for her astonishing works, although she was an artist in her own right and was a famous photographer before she met Picasso.

She was born Henriette Theodora Markovitch in Tours, Western France to a Jewish family. Her father, Josip Marković, was a Croat architect, famous for his work in South America; her mother, Julie Voisin, was from Touraine, France. Dora grew up in Argentina.

In 1927, Dora Maar had begun studying painting in Paris, but quickly switched to photography at the École de Photographie de la Ville de Paris. She supported herself in the 1920s and 1930s as a commercial photographer. While still in her twenties, she had managed to make a reputation in Paris for her fashion and advertising photographs. She then moved toward surrealism under the guidance of Paul Éluard, the poet, and Man Ray, the surrealist photographer. She was with Éluard at the Deux Magots café when Picasso noticed her and asked to be introduced. She was 29 years old and he 54.

Her first photography exhibition was at the Galerie de Beaune in Paris, in 1937. It has been said that Maar understood better than any artist of her time the naturalism of Surrealism. She knew that there was far more within every image, every person and place, than could possibly be described, that “interior vision” is more than matched by what is outside ourselves.

However, in the late 1930s she had a change of heart. She gave up on her photography entirely and returned to painting. This was at least partly because Picasso felt the former to be an inferior, or perhaps non-existent, art medium. Eventually Picasso left Dora Maar in the mid-1940s, for someone else. Their breakup left her in a severe depression, which followed a long reclusion that covered the last forty years of her life, until her death in 1997. She did continue to write poetry and to paint, and, in the 1980s, she revisited her photographic work.

The Years Lie in Wait for You (Dora Maar, 1936)

Dora Maar, The Years Lie in Wait for You, 1936

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Leonor Fini by Dora Maar, 1936

Dora Maar, Double Portrait, 1930

Dora Maar, Sans Titre (Main-coquillage), 1934 © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2011 © Kunstsammlung NRW

Three Portraits of Jazz Age Artist Tamara de Lempicka

Tamara de Lempicka (1898-1980) was a Polish Art Deco painter and “the first woman artist to be a glamour star”

She was born Maria Górska in Warsaw, Poland on May 16 (there are claims that she was in fact born in Moscow, Russia).

In 1916 Tamara married lawyer Tadeusz Lempicki in St. Petersburg, Russia and gave birth to a daughter she named Maria Krystyna, also known as Kizette.

In 1917 Tadeusz de Lempicki was arrested by the Bolsheviks during the Russian Revolution but was soon released with the help of his wife. They traveled to Denmark and England and finally settled in Paris, France. Here Tamara studied art the “Academie de la Grande Chaumiere” in Montparnasse under Maurice Denis and Andre Lhote and started to exhibit in Paris in the early 1920s.

In 1925 she had her first major exhibition in Milan, Italy. It is believed that she finished 28 new works in 6 months.

In 1928 she divorced her husband and in 1933 she married the Baron Raoul Kuffner. They settled in the states and after Kuffner died she moved to Mexico where she died in 1980.

Tamara de Lempicka via

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Tamara de Lempicka in Marcel Rochas Dress, photographed by Ora, ca. 1931 via

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Tamara de Lempicka via

Photos of the Amazing Artist Romaine Brooks

Romaine Brooks, born Beatrice Romaine Goddard (1874 – 1970), was an American painter specialized in portraiture who used a subdued palette dominated by the color gray.

She is best known for her images of women in androgynous or masculine dress, including her self-portrait of 1923, which is her most widely reproduced work. Her conservative style led many art critics to dismiss her, and by the 1960s her work was largely forgotten. The revival of figurative painting since the 1980s, and new interest in the exploration of gender and sexuality through art have led to a reassessment of her work. She is now seen as a precursor of present-day artists whose works depict cross-dressing and transgender themes.

In 1902 Brooks had inheritated a huge family fortune, which granted her independence. She studied in Rome, meeting an avant-garde group of artists, writers, and intellectuals with whom she associated in Capri, Paris, and the French Riviera. Her subjects ranged from anonymous models to titled aristocrats.

She often painted people close to her, such as the Italian writer and politician Gabriele D’Annunzio, the Russian dancer Ida Rubinstein, and her partner of more than 50 years, the writer Natalie Barney.

Although she lived until 1970, she painted very little after 1925. She made a series of line drawings during the early 1930s, using an “unpremeditated” technique resembling automatic drawing, then virtually abandoned art, completing only a single portrait after World War II.

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Romaine Brooks

Romaine Brooks by Man Ray, 1925 via

Natalie Clifford Barney and Romaine Brooks via

Romaine Brooks by Man Ray, 1925 via

Romaine Brooks by Carl Van Vechten, 1935 via