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date: 26 May 2020

Blumenfeld, Erwinlocked

(b Berlin, Jan 26, 1897; d Rome, July 4, 1969).
  • Erika Billeter

Extract

(b Berlin, Jan 26, 1897; d Rome, July 4, 1969).

American photographer of German birth. In 1918, in exile in the Netherlands, Blumenfeld met George Grosz, Howard Mehring and Paul Citroen. Working already as a photographer, painter and writer, he set up a photographic business in Paris in 1936 after the bankruptcy of his leather-goods shop in the preceding year. In 1941 he emigrated to the USA, and within two years he was one of the best-paid freelance photographers, working for Vogue, Life and Harper’s Bazaar. In 1955 he began the text of his autobiography, Blumenfeld: Meine 100 Besten Fotos (1979), on which he worked for the rest of his life. Blumenfeld’s personal photography showed the influence of Dada. He experimented unflaggingly with the technical possibilities of photography: solarization, multiple exposures, distortions. The dominant themes throughout his work were women and death. His international reputation was based not only on his experimental photography but also on his Fashion photography...

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G. Walsh, C. Naylor and M. Held, eds: Contemporary Photographers (New York, 1982, rev. 1988)