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Article

Daniela Mrázková

(b Warsaw, July 13, 1912; d Moscow, June 11, 1990).

Russian photographer of Polish birth. He studied mathematics at Moscow State University and worked as a mathematician from 1934 to 1938. A self-taught photographer, he worked for newspapers from 1936 and became a professional photojournalist in 1940. Throughout the Russian involvement in World War II, from 1941 to 1945, he worked as a war correspondent for the daily paper Izvestiya and the Army newspaper Na razgrom vraga, producing emotionally powerful photographs showing the hardships that war brings to ordinary people. The series of photographs Grief and Searching for the Dead (both 1942; see Mrázková and Remeš, pp. 61–5) placed him among the best known of war photographers. Taken in Kerch in the Crimea just after the German army had passed through, they portray relatives searching for their dead and crowded around an open mass grave.

The best of Bal’termants’s work remained unpublished for a long time after the war because it shattered the myth of the ‘Great Patriotic War’ as the triumph of superhuman Russian heroism. From ...

Article

Hélène Bocard

(b Grünebach, Westphalia, Prussia [now Germany], June 5, 1813; d Arcueil, Dec 22, 1889).

French photographer and painter of German origin. He was originally a painter, and he took up photography c. 1848. Within the framework of the Mission Héliographique established by the Commission des Monuments Historiques in 1851, he managed to establish himself as an architectural photographer (see Architectural photography). The Ministère de l’Intérieur ordered him to undertake a variety of projects, such as photographing construction work on the new Louvre (1854–69; see fig.) and the Rhône floods (1856). Other commissions were the albums Chemin de fer du Nord: Ligne de Paris à Boulogne (1855; see fig.) and L’Album des chemins de fer de Paris à Lyon et à la Méditerranée (1859; copies in Rochester, NY, Int. Mus. Phot.). From 1865 Baldus was content to exploit his stock of photographs.

Baldus was an Architectural photography of merit. He brought an originality of treatment to his modern subject-matter, using daring compositions, as in ...

Article

(b Hameln, April 3, 1911; d Plauen, March 4, 2001).

German photographer . Self-taught as a photographer, he worked as a casual labourer for Hanomag in Hannover from 1929 to 1930 and again from 1933 to 1941, occupying himself as an independent photographer from 1930 to 1933. He was one of the younger members of the Arbeiter-Fotograf movement, and his photographs provide a social documentary of Germany under the Weimar Republic. His earlier experiences as a labourer gave him a sympathetic eye for the widespread poverty of the period. Ballhause was opposed to the Nazis and was consequently hounded by the Gestapo. He was imprisoned in 1933 in Hannover, after which he gave up photography, and was again imprisoned from 1944 to 1945 in Zwickau and Plauen. From 1939 to 1941 he trained as a chemical technician in Hannover, and he worked in that capacity at the Vomag works in Plauen from 1941 to 1944. After being Mayor of Strassburg bei Plauen from ...

Article

Morgan Falconer

(b Nigeria, 1963).

Nigerian photographer, film maker, installation artist and writer active in Scotland. He studied Chemical Engineering at Strathclyde University, Glasgow (1981–85), before completing an MA in Media, Fine Art, Theory and Practice at the Slade School of Fine Art, London (1996–8). Bamgboyé’s earliest work was photographic: The Lighthouse series (1989; see 1998 book, p. 65) initiated his interest in the representation of black masculinity by depicting his own naked body in often theatrical contortions, amid mundane domestic rooms; the frames of the photographs are attached to coat hangers, underlining the theme of domesticity and pointing to his interest in the changeable character of subjectivity. These themes were further explored in films, which he began to make in 1993: Spells for Beginners (1994; see 2000 exh. cat., p. 74) explores the breakdown of his long-term relationship with a woman through a broken mix of confessional dialogue and fleeting images of their home. The installation of which this film is a part takes the form of an ordinary living room and is typical of Bamgboyé’s technique of adumbrating his imagery with sculptural motifs that emphasize his themes. In other films he explored the issue of migration: ...

Article

Nancy B. Keeler

(b Breteuil-sur-Noye, Oise, Jan 20, 1801; d Nemours, Seine-et-Marne, May 14, 1887).

French photographer and civil servant. His invention in early 1839 of direct positive photography on paper, by using silver chloride and potassium iodide, upon which light acted as a bleach, was totally original. It differed from the daguerreotype of Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre in producing a positive image on paper rather than on a metal plate, and it differed from the invention of William Henry Fox Talbot in that it produced a positive image without the use of a negative (see Photography, §I). Bayard’s images were sharper than Talbot’s, but because of their paper support they still lacked the fine detail of the daguerreotype. Unable to secure the influential patronage of the scientist and politician François Arago, who was backing Daguerre, Bayard undertook to promote his own invention, with remarkable success. In July 1839—one month before the daguerreotype process was publicly divulged—Bayard showed his photographs in a benefit art exhibition in Paris and gained favourable reviews. This was the first public ...

Article

Monica Bohm-Duchen

(b Haag, Austria, April 5, 1900; d Santa Barbara, CA, Sept 30, 1985).

American painter, designer, photographer and typographer, of Austrian birth. After serving in the Austrian army (1917–18), Bayer studied architecture under Professor Schmidthammer in Linz in 1919 and in 1920 worked with the architect Emanuel Margold in Darmstadt. From 1921 to 1923 he attended the Bauhaus in Weimar, studying mural painting (with Vasily Kandinsky) and typography; it was at this time that he created the Universal alphabet, consisting only of lowercase letters. In 1925 he returned to the Bauhaus, then in Dessau, as a teacher of advertising, layout and typography, remaining there until 1928. For the next ten years he was based in Berlin as a commercial artist: he worked as art manager of Vogue (1929–30) and as director of the Dorland advertising agency. Shortly after his first one-man exhibitions at the Galerie Povolotski, Paris, and at the Kunstlerbund März, Linz (both 1929), he created photomontages of a Surrealist nature, such as ...

Article

Geoffrey Batchen

(b Devon, Dec 22, 1801; d Hampstead, London, June 7, 1885).

English photographic studio proprietor. Beginning his career in London as a coal merchant, in June 1840 Beard bought the rights to a daguerreotype camera featuring a concave mirror invented by Alexander Wolcott in New York. With reliable portraits not yet able to be made, Beard hired the services of John Frederick Goddard, who by September 1840 claimed to reduce exposure times to about one minute, an innovation patented by Beard. With further refinements in hand, on 23 March 1841 Beard opened the first commercial photography studio in London, housed in the Royal Polytechnic Institution, and began making small ninth-plate portraits, with exposure times of between four and seven seconds on a bright day. His first customers included members of the lower aristocracy and wealthier members of the middle class, such as the Irish novelist Maria Edgeworth and the American abolitionist Wendell Phillips. Threatened with the closure of his studio, on ...

Article

Italo Zannier

British photographers of Italian origin. Antonio Beato (b ?the Veneto, c. 1830; d Luxor, 1903) and his brother Felice [Felix] Beato (b ?the Veneto, c. 1830; d Mandalay, after 1904) were for many years thought to be one person with two names, Antonio and Felice, and only recently has the mystery been solved of the almost contemporaneous presence of a Beato in two different (and often very distant) places. The misunderstanding arose from the fact that both their names (Antonio Felice Beato) appear on several photographs. A closer inquiry brought to light a letter written by Antonio and published in the French paper, Moniteur de la photographie (1 June 1886), in which he explains that he is not the producer of the exotic photographs recently exhibited in London, mention of which had been made in the Moniteur of 10 March; the photographer was instead ‘[his] brother Monsieur Felice Beato of Japan’....

Article

Reinhold Misselbeck

(Walter Hardy)

(b London, Jan 14, 1904; d Broad Chalke, nr Salisbury, Jan 18, 1980).

English photographer and stage designer. He began taking photographs at an early age, mainly of his sisters Nancy and Baba. Beaton emulated pictures he saw in fashion magazines, especially those by Baron Adolphe de Meyer and the soft-focus technique used in them. In 1922 he went to Cambridge University to study history and architecture, but he left after three years without graduating. He took an office job, but he continued to photograph, receiving portrait commissions. Diaghilev’s praise of his photographs, particularly the double portrait of Nancy and Baba with Reflection (1924), encouraged him to set up a studio in his home in Sussex Gardens, London. Beaton created lavish decorations and painted his backgrounds himself. He encouraged his subjects to sit in striking poses. In his diary he noted: ‘Till now my pictures have been ordinary attempts to make people look as beautiful as possible, but these are fantastic and amusing’. The friendship and patronage of the ...

Article

Reinhold Misselbeck

German photographers. Bern(har)d Becher (b Siegen, 20 Aug 1931; d Rostock, 22 June 2007) served an apprenticeship as a decorative painter in Siegen, then studied painting and lithography at the Staatliche Kunstakademie in Stuttgart (1953–6) and typography at the Staatliche Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf (1957–61). There in 1959 he met Hilla Wobeser (b Potsdam, 2 Sept 1934), who had trained as a photographer in Potsdam and, after a period as an aerial photographer in Hamburg, had moved to Düsseldorf in 1957. They married in 1961. Together they developed a documentary approach to photographing their industrial surroundings that introduced new kinds of social, cultural and aesthetic questions about the increasing destruction of many late 19th-century buildings. They systematically photographed half-timbered houses, cooling towers, water towers, blast furnaces and derricks of the same or similar design, forcing the viewer to compare and judge the buildings from unfamiliar aesthetic standpoints. This photographic documentation was not based, however, on a system of encyclopedic thoroughness, nor on a theory of objectivity, but primarily on the desire to express their own social and political views. For this reason, they excluded any details that would detract from the central theme and instead set up comparisons of viewpoint and lighting through which the eye is led to the basic structural pattern of the images being compared. This principle, which is allied to the philosophy underlying the ...

Article

revised by Stephanie Spencer and Sophie Gordon

(b London, Aug 13, 1815; d London, May 15, 1894).

English printmaker and photographer. His first known works are architectural drawings exhibited at the Royal Academy in the 1840s, which documented buildings designed by his architect father Francis Octavius Bedford (1784–1858). He quickly turned to engraving, design, and lithography, working for Standidge & Co., and later Day & Son. He continued to produce lithographs until c. 1858, contributing to many significant publications on British design and manufacturing. He took up photography around 1853 initially to assist with the accuracy of his lithographic work, photographing works of art in the Marlborough House museum (later the South Kensington Museum) for Henry Cole. In 1854 he exhibited for the first time in the Photographic Society of London exhibition. Bedford continued to exhibit widely in British and international exhibitions throughout the 1850s and 1860s. He concentrated primarily on landscape and architectural scenes, often made during annual tours of southern England and Wales (...

Article

Peter Webb

(b Kattowitz, Germany [now Katowice, Poland], March 13, 1902; d Paris, Feb 24, 1975).

German photographer, sculptor, printmaker, painter, and writer. As a child he developed fear and hatred for his tyrannical father, who totally dominated his gentle and affectionate mother. He and his younger brother Fritz found refuge from this oppressive family atmosphere in a secret garden decorated with toys and souvenirs and visited by young girls who joined in sexual games. In 1923 Bellmer was sent by his father to study engineering at the Technische Hochschule in Berlin, but he became interested in politics, reading the works of Marx and Lenin and joining in discussions with artists of the Dada. He was especially close to George Grosz, who taught him drawing and perspective in 1924 and whose advice to be a savage critic of society led him to abandon his engineering studies in that year. Having shown artistic talent at an early age, he began designing advertisements as a commercial artist and illustrated various Dada novels, such as ...

Article

Martha Schwendener

[Ben Youseph Nathan, Esther Zeghdda]

(b London, Nov 21, 1869; d Brooklyn, NY, Nov 27, 1933).

American photographer. Born Esther Zeghdda Ben Youseph Nathan to a German mother and an Algerian father, she immigrated to the United States in 1895. She worked as a milliner in New York before opening a photographic portrait studio in 1897. Her ‘gallery of illustrious Americans’ featured actresses, politicians, and fashionable socialites, including President Theodore Roosevelt, author Edith Wharton, artist William Merritt Chase, and actress Julia Marlowe. Ben-Yusuf also created Pictorialist-inspired artwork like The Odor of Pomegranates (1899; see fig.), an allegory informed by the myth of Persephone and the idea of the pomegranate as a tantalizing but odourless fruit. Ben-Yusuf was included in an exhibition organized by the Linked Ring, Brotherhood of the in London in 1896 and continued to exhibit in the group’s annual exhibitions until 1902. Her photographs were exhibited at the National Academy of Design in 1898 and at the Camera Club of New York in ...

Article

Italo Zannier

(b Santa Margherita Ligure, nr Genoa, Oct 10, 1930).

Italian photographer. He lived for some years in Venice, where he was taught photography by Paolo Monti. He took particular interest in the work of several international masters, especially Brassai, Robert Doisneau and William Klein. He turned professional in 1964, specializing in architectural photography and environmental reportage, noted especially for the formal rigour of his work. He also undertook fashion and advertising photography. In ...

Article

Deborah Nash

(b Paderborn, 1896; d Aug 8, 1972).

German photographer and film maker. From 1917 to 1920 she studied at the Weimer Hochschule für Bildenden Kunste under the German painter Walther Klemm (b 1883). After graduating, she set up her own studio, where she produced a number of abstract collages influenced by Dadaism. In 1920 she moved to Frankfurt, and her residence, the Schmelzmuhle, became the meeting-place for many artists, including Schwitters, who became a lifelong friend. In 1923 she developed her first Prism Pictures, and between 1927 and 1933 she travelled with her husband, Robert Michel (ii), and with Schwitters to the Netherlands, where she made contact with Mondrian. During this time she also worked with the Film League in Frankfurt, where many of her films and photographs were produced. She created photographs reflecting the discoveries and preoccupations of contemporary painters. Her early pictures were concerned with a structural interpretation of reality and concentrated on the abstract shapes and contrasts formed by railings and wooden beams. Increasingly she turned to banal subject-matter, to the minutiae of life, for example a woman shutting a door or descending a stairway. The series of photographs such as the ...

Article

(Wilhelm)

(b Rotterdam, July 13, 1873; d Goirle, May 4, 1959).

Dutch photographer. He first studied painting at the Akademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Rotterdam (1892–6). In 1901 he started to work as a self-taught photographer, taking pictures of farmers and gypsies in the province of North Brabant, a typical subject for a pictorial photographer at the time. From 1907 to 1917 he worked in Rotterdam as a photographer, taking pictures of the town and its inhabitants. Pictorially the photographs bear comparison with the work of the Dutch Impressionists, the Hague school and George Hendrik Breitner. Their picturesque quality is enhanced by the use of the gum bichromate and oil pigment processes (see Photography, §I).

Berssenbrugge’s portraits were unusual for their spontaneity, lack of artistic background and rejection of retouching. He insisted, however, on the use of certain printing techniques, in particular his own so-called ‘Fototechnick’. Among his best portraits are those of members of contemporary artistic circles, for example that of the violinist ...

Article

Hripsimé Visser

(b Budapest, April 29, 1910; d Laren, Netherlands, Dec 12, 2003).

Dutch photographer of Hungarian birth. She trained in Budapest under photographer József Pécsi (1889–1956). From 1930 to 1932 she worked in Berlin, first on a voluntary basis and later as a freelance photographer; while there she explored the use of human interest in photography and concentrated increasingly on photo-reportage. The political climate forced her to move in 1932 to Amsterdam, where she made her permanent home and mixed with avant-garde artists, film makers and photographers. As a result of publishing some of her work and participating in exhibitions, she became well known in Dutch photography circles. Her tireless promotion of photography led her to take part in organizing the first important internationally orientated photographic exhibition in the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam in 1937 and also to participate in many professional photographic organizations.

In the 1930s Besnyő concentrated on portraits, architecture and photo-reportage while working for different magazines. Because she was Jewish she chose to set aside her professional work during the war and became a photographer of groups persecuted by the Nazis. Her work of the 1950s, which included such portraits as ...

Article

Susan Kart

(b Mbarara, 1963).

Ugandan photographer, film maker, and installation artist of Indian descent, active in the UK. Bhimji was born in Uganda to Indian parents. The family fled Uganda to England in 1972 due to President Idi Amin’s expulsion of all Asians and Asian-Ugandans from the country along with seizure of their property and businesses as part of his ‘economic war’ on Asia. Bhimji studied art at Goldsmiths College and the Slade School of Art in London and her photographic work primarily consists of close-up, sometimes abstracted glimpses of seemingly abandoned spaces, objects, and landscapes. Bhimji’s work focuses on India and Uganda, which are treated as almost anthropomorphic subjects that appear restless, unfinished, abandoned, or frozen in her photographs, films, and film stills. Bhimji was one of four shortlisted finalists for the Turner Prize in 2007, and her work has been exhibited alongside such artists as El Anatsui, António Olé, Yinka Shonibare, and ...

Article

[née Sternefeld, Anna Sibilla [Änne]]

(b Goch, March 3, 1898; d Gera, Jan 14, 1933).

German photographer. After her marriage in 1920 she took her husband’s surname and at the same time changed her first name. She took her first photographs in 1921, without any training, but it was not until 1926 that she devoted herself seriously to the medium. Soon after this she produced a series of botanical photographs, such as Rubber Plant (c. 1927; Essen, Mus. Flkwang), taken in close-up to reveal the details of texture and structure. She also produced a number of images of crystals in a similar vein, such as Scheelite with Quartz (c. 1929; Essen, Mus. Flkwang), on the suggestion of the geologist Rudolf Hundt, who wanted them for his scientific work; these reflected her own interests as a collector of rocks and minerals. Her concern in such works with the detailed rendering of objects, closely linked to the Neue Sachlichkeit movement, showed the influence of photographs produced during the same period by Albert Renger-Patzsch....

Article

Aurélie Verdier

(b Antwerp, March 19, 1946).

Belgian photographer and installation artist. He studied theatre and cinema in the late 1960s, creating a fruitful ground for his future installations and later dividing his work into four categories with the aim of blurring the frontiers of art and social reality. One such category, ‘Transformation–Installation’ was rooted in a spoof governmental pamphlet written by the artist in 1979 announcing the bankruptcy of art: he argued that art was unnecessary since it was inherently non-functional. From that point on, this ironic point of view was built into his recreations of everyday environments injected with incongruous elements, as in Driving School Z (1979; see 1998 exh. cat, p. 44), an installation in an Antwerp gallery that recreated the soulless premises referred to in the title. At once bleak and dramatic in its painstaking reconstruction, it contained furniture from a real driving school as a way of blurring the distinction between art and reality. Bijl’s polished installations have an unsettling atmosphere, as they lack any sense of human presence. Tackling issues of mass culture and its vehicles, he reconstructed some institutions in tableaux that mixed the artificiality of highly stylized objects with the tangible reality of everyday artefacts. By so doing, he questioned the identity and meaning of environments once they have been relocated to an institutionalized art context. In ...