A Collection of Photos by Man Ray Feat. Lee Miller

Lee Miller (1907 – 977) was an American photographer. She is one of the most remarkable female icons of the 20th century – an individual admired as much for her free-spirit, creativity and intelligence as for her classical beauty (source).

In 1929, Miller traveled to Paris with the intention of apprenticing herself to the surrealist artist and photographer Man Ray. Although, at first, he insisted that he did not take students, Miller soon became his model and co-collaborator, as well as his lover and muse. While she was in Paris, she began her own photographic studio, often taking over Man Ray’s fashion assignments to enable him to concentrate on his painting. In fact, many of the photographs taken during this period and credited to Man Ray were actually taken by Miller. Together with Man Ray, she rediscovered the photographic technique of solarisation. She was an active participant in the surrealist movement, with her witty and humorous images. Amongst her circle of friends were Pablo Picasso, Paul Éluard, and Jean Cocteau (she appeared as a statue that comes to life in Cocteau’s The Blood of a Poet (1930)).

After leaving Man Ray and Paris in 1932, she returned to New York and established a portrait and commercial photography studio with her brother Erik as her darkroom assistant

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Lee Miller by Man Ray, Solarisation, 1931 via

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Lee Miller [hand] by Man Ray, 1929 via

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Lee Miller’s neck; Man Ray’s Neck. 2010 MAN RAY TRUST/ARS. COURTESY OF THE PENROSE COLLECTION via

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Lee Miller by Man Ray via

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Lee Miller via

A Collection of Photos by Pioneer Ilse Bing (1899 – 1998)

The German avant-garde and commercial photographer produced pioneering monochrome images during the inter-war era.

Her move from Frankfurt to the burgeoning avant-garde and surrealist scene in Paris in 1930 marked the start of the most notable period of her career. She produced images in the fields of photojournalism, architectural photography, advertising and fashion, and her work was published in magazines such as Le Monde Illustre, Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue. Respected for her use of daring perspectives, unconventional cropping, use of natural light, and geometries, she also discovered a type of solarisation for negatives independently of a similar process developed by the artist Man Ray.

She remained in Paris for ten years, but in the shadow of World War II, she and her husband immigrated to New York City in 1941. There, she had to re-establish her reputation, and got steady work in portraiture. By 1947, Bing came to the realization that New York had revitalized her art. Her style was very different; the softness that characterized her work in the 1930s gave way to hard forms and clear lines, with a sense of harshness and isolation. This was indicative of how Bing’s life and worldview had been changed by her move to New York and the war-related events of the 1940s.

Ilse Bing. Beethoven Autograph, Ode to Joy, 1933 via

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Self-portrait by Ilse Bing, 1931 via

Ilse Bing. Leather Gloves, 1933 via

 Ilse Bing. Self Portrait, Canal Saint Martin, Paris via

Ilse Bing. Fountain. Place De La Concorde via

Ilse Bing. Solarized Clocks, Paris, 1934 via

Fantastic 1940s Photography by Carlotta Corpron

Carlotta Corpron was born in Blue Earth, Minnesota, but spent fifteen years of her youth in India. She returned to the United States in 1920 to earn degrees in art education at Michigan State Normal College and Columbia University, and was first introduced to photography in 1933.

Of particular note are Corpron’s early light drawings, made by tracking moving light at amusement parks–radiant images of wild edges and rhythmic lines–and her “space compositions,” which employed eggs and shells. Corpron also made “fluid light designs” examining reflections on plastic materials; “light follows form” studies of sculpture; abstractions of light flowing through glass; and solarizations of flowers and portraits.

Corpron’s experiments with light are among the most intriguing abstract photographic works from her day, sharing as they do the concerns of her predecessors Moholy-Nagy, Man Ray, and Alvin Langdon Coburn.

Her work is significant for its inventive and resolutely independent exploration of the aesthetic possibilities of light and space. Wrought from simple materials and the free play of imagination, Corpron’s light abstractions are increasingly admired (source).

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Carlotta Corpron, Solarized Portrait of Ray Ann, 1949 via

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Carlotta Corpron, Ray Ann with Amaryllis, 1945 via

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Carlotta Corpron, Solarized Calla Lilies, 1948 via

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Carlotta Corpron, Nature Dancer, 1943 via

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Carlotta Corpon, Space Composition with Chambered Nautilus, 1948 via

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Carlotta Corpron, Chambered Nautilus with Created Light and Shadow, 1948 via