Eliot Elisofon

Eliot Elisofon,“Marcel Duchamp Descending a Staircase”, 1952, Gelatin Silver Print, Image Size 33.5 x 26.8 cm, Mead Art Museum, Amherst College

Born in New York City in April of 1911 to immigrant parents, Eliot Elisofon, born Meyer Eliot Elicofon, was a photojournalist and a documentary photographer. His humble upbringing and childhood struggles inspired his career as a photographer; the human condition with all its struggles became the central focus of his work. 

Elisofon graduated from Fordham University in 1933 and first produced advertising photographs for Vogue and Mademoiselle magazines. By 1937, he was regularly contributing work to Life magazine on a variety of subjects, including theater, military exercises, coal miners, and elite society events. In 1936, Elisofon became a founding member of the Photo League, a cooperative of New York photographers who covered creative and social causes. One of its more active members, he gave lectures, collaborated with sociologist and photographer Lewis Hine on the “Men at Work” project, and taught courses on flash photography and photojournalism. 

In 1937, Eliot Elisofon became associated with filmmaker Willard Van Dyke, Harper’s Bazaar art director Alexey Brodovitch, Beaumont Newhall, the photography curator at the Museum of Modern Art, and Tom Maloney, the editior of U.S. Camera magazine. His first exhibition of his New York street photography was shown at the Pennsylvania Museum of Art and New York’s avant-garde Julien Levy Gallery, In 1938, Elisofon’s “Playgrounds of Manhattan” was shown at the New School, a progressive arts college in New York City. 

Elisofon was hired in 1939 as a photographer in the Federal Writers’ Project, a WPA New Deal Program, for its series “These Are Our Lives”, which contained thirty-seven life histories of both black and white farm laborers, factory and mill workers, and workers in service occupations or on relief. Beginning in 1942, Elisofon was a war correspondent and a photographer for Life magazine; he was the only photographer to accompany General Patton throughout the North African Campaign. These photographs taken during the campaign became part of the exhibition “The Tunisian Triumph”, which opened in June of 1943 at MOMA and later traveled to twenty cities. Elisofon continued to be associated with Life and other magazines until 1972. 

Over the years, Eliot Elisofon traveled to six continents and nineteen books of his work were published during his lifetime. During his photographic journeys around the African continent, Elisofon assembled a collection of African art and took over eighty thousand images; the art and photographs are now part of the collection of the National Museum of African Art in Washington, DC. 

Eliot Elisofon’s photograph “Marcel Duchamp Descending a Staircase” was shot for a ten-page article written by Winthrop Sargeant on Marcel Duchamp, a key member of the Dada movement, for the April 28, 1952, issue of Life magazine. One of Duchamp’s most significant works was his early 1912 painting “Nude Descending a Staircase”, a cubist image in the manner of the chronophotography work of Eadweard Muybridge, who was a pioneer in the study of movement and measurement through multiple image photography. Elison’s 1952 time-lapse photograph of Duchamp descending a flight of stairs was done as a tribute to Duchamp’s famous painting; the image above is one of the two staged shots that Elisofon produced in the photo shoot.

Top Insert Image: Eliot Elisofon, “Self Portrait with Speed Graphic Camera, New York City”, 1936, Gelatin Silver Print

Bottom Insert Image: Marcel Duchamp, “Nude Descending a Staircase (No. 2)”, 1912, Oil on Canvas, 151.8 x 93.3 cm, Philadelphia Museum of Art

Kris Knight

Paintings by Kris Knight

Born in 1980 in Windsor, Kris Knight is a Canadian painter who has been interested in art since a young age. He moved to Toronto at the age of nineteen and studied at the Ontario College of Art and Design, where he majored in Painting and Drawing, with minors in Curating and Criticism.

The majority of Knight’s work, often painted in series, has been portraits based on real people, mostly close friends and family members. He has also produced self-portraits, collaged images taken from mass media, and works on the themes of loss, bonding and secrets. The subjects of Knight’s work have mostly been either young or androgynous-appearing men, who are portrayed in mute color tones effecting a powdered or translucent appearance. His pastels and tonal oil paintings, set in both theatrical and ordinary settings, combine nostalgia and romanticism in their exploration of life’s experiences.

Inspired by an eighteenth-century style of painting, Knight’s work draws from the movements of Romanticism, Symbolism and artwork of the Rococo period. Having had an interest in the era of the French Revolution since a child, he was also inspired by the portraiture work of French painters Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun and Baron Joseph Ducreux. Additional influences came from the works of portrait painter Thomas Lawrence, Baroque painter Nicolas Poussin, and John Singer Sargent, considered the leading portrait painter of his day.

Kris Knight painted his “Lost and Found” series in 2012. This series of portraits dealt with disenchanted youths who subtly play the roles of hunter and the hunted. Often shown wearing furs and masks, the paintings explored the emotional state of being lost and the process of recovery. His 2013 series “Secrets Are Things We Grow” explored secrets that people keep and the bond that forms once a secret is revealed to those held close. The use of patterns and symbols of nature are used to represent the growth of secrets over time.

In 2014, Knight painted his “Smell the Magic” series, which had its premiere, sponsored by Gucci, at the Spinello Project’s pop-up gallery in Wynwood, Florida. The paintings in this series were done with brighter color tones; an influence of surrealism can be seen in the use of Ouija board pointers for eyes and overlaid flower blossoms on faces. In 2017, Knight had a solo exhibition at Art Toronto which contained work in a smaller scale with a more theatrical approach. These works focused on the subject of performance in everyday life and the roles portrayed to others.

Kris Knight began involved in the fashion industry early in his career. His paintings were used for four 2012 covers for Fashion for Men magazine and, in 2014, his paintings’ pastel color palette was credited for Gucci’s men’s ready-to-wear fall and winter collection. Collaborating with Gucci, Knight created several botanical floral prints, based on a previous work in 1966, which were incorporated into creative director Frida Giannini’s designs for Gucci’s Cruise 2015 seasonal wear. Knight’s work was later shown at the group exhibition, “Carte Blanche a Christin Lacroix”, at Paris’s Musée Cognacq-Jay in November of 2014.

Kris Knight’s work is represented by the Spinello Gallery in Miami, Florida, and at Paris’s Galerie Alain Gutharc. His website, which includes upcoming exhibitions, can be found at: https://krisknight.com/home.html .

Middle Insert Image: Kris Knight, “Let’s Not Speak So Heavy”, 2020, Oil on Canvas, 35.6 x 27.9 cm

Emilio Baz Vlaud

The Artwork of Emilio Baz Vlaud

Born in Mexico City in 1918, Emilio Baz Vlaud was a painter whose work mostly included portraiture and scenes in the style of  Costumbrismo, images of local Hispanic life, customs, and mannerisms executed in  both artistic Realism and Romanticism.  Influenced by the Magical Realism movement that spread through the art and literary worlds after the first World War, Vlaud was known for his meticulous brushwork and his trompe-d’oeil technique. 

Emilio Baz Vlaud, at a very early age, had great skill in the arts. He would often watch his older gay brother, Ben-Hur Baz Vlaud, a 1926 graduate of the Academy de San Carlos and twelve years his senior, working on his own precisionist drawings and paintings. At the age of seventeen, Emilio Vlaud executed his first self-portrait, the 1935 “Self Portrait as a Teenager”, a highly refined work that is closely related to a self-portrait painted by his brother in the same year. In his self-portrait, Emilio shows himself with perfectly combed hair and dressed in a white shirt. He is  holding a green pencil at an angle, a position which visually divides the canvas in two,  and is shown gripping his elbow with his left hand. 

Emilio Baz Vlaud entered the Academia de San Carlos in 1938 where he initially studied architecture before changing his vocation to painting. He later took courses at the Escuela Nacional de Artes Plásticas, where he studied under the strict training of painter Manuel Rodríguez Lozano, an openly gay artist whose work is often linked to the works of metaphysical painter Giorgio de Chirico. Vlaud made several visits over the years to his older brother who had moved to New York City and was working as a successful commercial illustrator for magazines, such as Newsweek and Time. 

In 1950, Emilio Vlaud relocated to San Miguel Allende, situated in the far eastern part of Guanajuato. He exhibited his work in several collective exhibitions, where he showed his work alongside such prominent artists as painters and muralists Diego Rivera and David Alfaro Siqueiros. In 1951, Vlaud had his first solo exhibition; his flamenco-inspired technique of applying dry oil paints to surfaces by means of small strokes of a short brush were praised by critics and his fellow artists. During his eight year stay in San Miguel Allende, he received a gold medal for artistic merit from the University of Guanajuato. 

In 1962, Emilio Baz Vlaud entered the Monastery of Santa María de la Resurrecion for the purpose of studying psychoanalysis. After several years, he abandoned these studies to return to his vocation as a painter. Although Vlaud is mostly know for his portraiture and scenes done before 1955, he also went through an intense period of abstraction during the 1970s. In 1984, his work was presented at a collective exhibition entitled “Siete Pintores (Seven Painters)” at the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City. Emilio Baz Vlaud died in 1991. 

Insert Images:

Emilio Baz Viaud, “Self Portrait as a Teenager”, 1925, Watercolor, Pencil and Dry Brush on Board, 60 x 39.7 cm, Private Collection

Emilio Baz Vlaud, “El Coco”, circa 1955, Oil on Masonite, 50 x 40 cm, Blaisten Collection

Emilio Baz Vlaud, “Self Portrait in Blue Shirt”, 1941, Watercolor, Pencil and Dry Brush on Board, 100 x 65.5 cm, Blaisten Collection, Mexico City

 

Robert Rauschenberg

Robert Rauschenberg, “Self Portrait, Black Mountain (1)”, 1952, Gelatin Silver Print, 14.3 x 8.3 cm, Robert Rauschenberg Foundation

While studying at Black Mountain College in North Carolina between 1948 and 1952, Robert Rauschenberg focused his attention on mid-century experimental and abstract photography. His exploration of this medium was influenced by the works of photographer Aaron Siskind, whose detailed images created an innovation in abstract photography; Harry Callahan, a prolific photographer who rigorously curated his work; and educator and photographer Hazel Larson Archer, whose work captured life at Black Mountain.

Rauschenberg used a bold mixture of abstraction, double exposures, experiments with light and shadow, and used blueprint paper to produce photographs with a camera. Many of his earliest photographic experiments were portraits of close companions and people he met in conversations; these include artists such as choreographer and dancer Merce Cunningham and painter Cy Twombly.

A recurring subject of his experimental work was the self portrait, of which the double-exposure image above, “Self Portrait, Black Mountain (1)”, is an example. Shot in 1952, it features Rauschenberg seated on a wooden chair with his hands folded. Ghostly images of weeds and chairs are superimposed over his body.This photograph is a singular work in a portfolio edition of seven related photographs taken during the summer of 1952 at Black Mountain College near Asheville, North Carolina.

Denis Dailleux

Photography by Denis Dailleux

Born in Angers, France in 1958, Denis Dailleux is a portraiture photographer who has been documenting life in Egypt for the past thirty years. His works, done in classical black and white as well as in subtle colors, equally capture Egypt’s famous residents and the anonymous subjects in the slums of Cairo with the same passion and the same distinctive sensitivity.

Dailleux has published a series of photographic books, all of which  portray the settings and people of Egypt, the city of Cairo, and his impressions of the 2011 January Revolution in Egypt. After the publishing of his 2008 “Fils de Roi: Portraits of Egypt”, Dailleux took an exploratory trip to Sub-Saharan Africa in search of new sources of inspiration. This expedition led to a portrait series on the village residents in the country of Ghana.

Denis Dailleux has been awarded several international prizes, including the 1997 Monographies Award, the 2000 World Press Photo Award in the portraits category, the 2000 City of Vevey Hasselblad Award in Switzerland, and the 2001 Fuji Film Award given at Biarritz’s Festival Terre d’Images. Dailleux’s series “Egypt, Mother and Son”, portraits of Egyptian bodybuilders with their mothers, won second prize at the 2014 World Press Photo Awards in the staged portraits category. 

A member of Agence VU, Denis Dailleux currently lives in Cairo, Egypt, where he works as a portrait photographer. His website is located at: https://www.denisdailleux.com/index.php?/

The images above contain photographs from several of Dailleux’s series: “Ghana” and “Egypt“; “Egypt, Mother and Son”,  and “Les Conducteurs de Tuk-Tuk du Cairo”.

Peder Severin Krøyer

Peder Severin Krøyer, “Hunters of Skagen”, 1898, Oil on Canvas, 85 x 139 cm, Private Collection

Peder Severin Krøyer, “Italian Field Laborers, Abruzzo”, 1880, Oil on Canvas, 124.3 x 186 cm, Funen’s Art Museum, Odense, Denmark

Born in July of 1851 in Stavanger, Peder Severin Krøyer was one of the foremost Impressionist painters from Denmark. After moving to Copenhagen at a young age, he began studying painting at the Royal Danish Academy, under realist portrait painter Frederik Vermehren. Kreyer completed his studies in 1870. 

Krøyer had his first exhibition in 1871 at the Charlottenborg Palace, where he presented a portrait of his friend, painter Frans Schwartz. In 1873, he was awarded a gold medal for his work and also received a scholarship. Establishing a long-standing patronage, Danish art collector Heinrich Hirschsprung bought in 1874 the first of many paintings by Krøyer.

From 1877 to 1881, Peder Krøyer traveled throughout Europe where he studied, met artists and developed his skills at painting. Staying in Paris under the patronage of Hirschsprung, he studied under portrait and religious painter Léon Bonnat and exhibited his work in Denmark. Krøyer, during his stay in Paris, became acquainted with the works of the impressionists such as Edouard Manet, Camille Pissarro, Paul Cezanne, and Georges Seurat. Impressed with their work, he kept his palette light in tones and loosened his brushstroke. 

Returning to Denmark in 1882, Krøyer became associated with the Skagen artist colony, a group influenced by the French Impressionists. The colony’s artists placed an emphasis on the effects of light and open-air scenes of local life. Krøyer divided his time between Copenhagen, where he continued his portraiture work, and Skagan, where he painted the artist colony and local landscape.

Peder Krøyer encountered painter Marie Martha Triepcke on a trip to Paris in 1888. They married in July of 1889 at her parents’ residence in Germany. Settled with his wife in the Skagen colony, Krøyer executed his first major oil painting, the 1888 “Hip Hip Hurrah! Artists Party at Skagen”. Inspired by a gathering at painter Michael Ancher’s residence, the painting depicts men and women toasting with champagne amid lush trees; gentle sunlight is seen being cast upon the participants and their table.

A champion of plein air painting, Krøyer is best known for his carefree images of life in Skagen. He was fascinated with the depiction of light; his main study was the depiction of the “blue hour”, that point as the day becomes evening when the sky and sea merge in the same tone of blue. Examples of this light depiction are the 1892 “Summer Evening at Skagen” and the 1893 “Summer Evening on Skagen’s South Beach with Anna Ancher ad Marie Krøyer”. 

Over the last ten years of his life, Krøyer’s  eyesight gradually failed him until he was totally blind. He painted almost to the end, even executing masterpieces while half-blind. One of his last important large-scale works was the 1906 “Midsummer’s Eve Bonfire on Skagen Beach”, now in the Skagens Museum. After many visits to the hospital suffering from bouts of mental illness, Peder Severin Krøyer passed away in Skagen at the age of fifty-eight in November of 1909.

Peder Krøyer achieved many prestigious awards during his lifetime, including induction into the Legion of Honor in 1888. The largest collection of Krøyer’s work can be found in the Skagens Museum; other museum collections include the Danish National Gallery, the Frederiksborg Museum, the Musée d’Orsey in Paris, the Philadelphia Museum, and the Royal Danish Academy in Copenhagen.

Insert Images: Peder Severin Krøyer, “Self Portrait”, 1897, Oil on Panel, 40.9 x 31.6 cm, Hirschsprung Collection, Copenhagen, Denmark

Peder Severin Krøyer,, “The Artist’s House”, Date Unknown, Oil on Canvas

Photographer Unknown, “Peder Severin Krøyer:, Date Unknown

Imre Szobotka

Imre Szobotka, “Fiatalkori Onarckép (Self Portrait as a Young Man)”, 1912-14, Oil on Canvas, 45.5 x 38.2 cm, Hungarian National Gallery, Budapest

Born in Zalaegerszeg, Hungary, in September of 1890, Imre Szobotka was a painter and engraver. Between 1905 and 1910, he studied at Budapest’s School of Design under painter Ignác Újváry. Szobotka traveled to Venice in 1908 for a study trip and traveled to Rome in 1909, this time accompanied by his friend Ervin Bossámyl. He relocated to Paris in 1911, where he lived at the residence of avant-garde sculptor and graphic artist József Csáky, one of the first Parisian sculptors to apply pictorial Cubism to his art.

Szobotka attended the 1911 Independent Salon in Paris, where he viewed the works of the Cubist painters. Inspired by their work and with the encouragement of his friend, the Cubist painter József Csáky, he enrolled at the La Palette School of Art in 1912, where he studied under Cubist painters Jean Metzinger and Henri Le Fauconnier. By the spring of 1913, Szobotka’s works, exhibited in the Independent Salon, were already noticed by the French critics, including writer and critic Guillaume Apollinaire. 

During World War I, Imre Szobotka was interned as a prisoner of war, starting in 1914 in Bretagne and later, at Saint Brieuc, France, until his release in 1919. The landscapes, still lifes, and portraits made in the internment period were experiments in cubism, symbolism, and orphism, a cubist offshoot that focused on abstraction and bright colors. These works, rare examples of Hungarian Cubism,  included his 1914 “Pipe Smoker”, the 1916 “Sailor”, and watercolor illustrations he produced for poet Paul Claude’s “Revelation”.

After his return to Paris in 1919, Szobotka’s paintings contained a more naturalistic expression. He exhibited this new work first in 1921 in Belvedere, a commune in the Vesubie Valley north of Nice, and, between 1929 and 1944, in shows at the Tamás Gallery, the Fränkel Salon, and the Mária Valéria Street gallery. The solid, defined construction of these landscape works by Szobotka insured him a place among the Nagybánya artists, whose work was focused on plain-air painting.

Imre Szobotka was a founding member of Képzőművészek Új Társasága, the New Society of Fine Artists, and presented his work in its exhibitions. For his 1929 “Mill in Nagybánya”, he won the landscape award presented by the Szinyei Society, an artistic association founded after painter and educator Pál Szinyei Merse’s death to promote new artists. Szobotka would later enter the “Mill in Nagybánya” at the 1938 Venice Biennial. In 1941, he won the Szinyei Society’s grand award for his exhibited work. 

From 1945 onward, Szobotka produced some graphic work; however, his main concentration was on his landscapes. He spent his last summers in the countryside near the village of Zsemmye where he painted pastoral landscapes. Szobotka became president of the painting division of the Fine and Applied Arts Alliance in 1952. For the body of his work, he received the Munkácsy Award in 1954 and the Socialis Work Order of Merit in 1960. Imre Szobotka died in March of 1961, at the age of seventy, in the city of Budapest.

Imre Szobotka’s “Self Portrait as a Young Man” is one of the key creations of his Parisian years. It shows his embrace of the elements of cubism, particularly the coloring and abstraction of its orphism branch. The main emphasis of the work is not the formal structure with its conventionally postured figure, but rather the way the light breaks its components into prisms of color. Szobotka emphasized his sense of light value and his translucent colorization to form a refined play of reflections, which cut the painting’s solid forms into colored shards.

Insert Images:

Imre Szobotka, “Sailor”, 1916, Oil on Canvas, 35 x 29 cm, Janus Pannonius Museum, Péca

Imre Szobotka, “Gathering Apples”, 1930, Oil on Canvas, 55 x 76 cm, Henman ottó Museum, Miskolc

Imre Sobotka, “Self Portrait”, 1912, Oil on Cardboard, 53 x 45 cm, Private Collection

Enrique Toribio

Enrique Toribio, Red Series, Limited Edition Series, Model Unknown

Enrique Toribio is a Spanish photographer who currently lives and works in Madrid. He studied Design at Madrid’s School of Arts and Crafts and later earned a degree in Industrial Pattern Design. Since the mid-1980s, Toribio has been involved in couture costume design for theatrical productions of work by Chekhov, Ibsen, and Tennessee Williams. He has also designed costumes for cabaret and dance productions, both Spanish and classical. 

Beginning in 2003, Toribio has concentrated on his photography with an emphasis in figurative and portraiture work. Particularly interested in the aesthetic treatment of body and facial expressions and textures, he endeavors to recreate the appearance of mid-twentieth century photography with the use of digital technology.

Enrique Toribio has participated in several international photography exhibitions, including the Second Great LGBT Photo Show at Leslie & Lohman in New York City, and multiple exhibitions in Spain, including “ABRAZOS” at the Museum of Contemporary Art Conde Duque in Madrid. He has received recognition for his work at Argentina’s FotoRevista competitions in both 2017 and 2018, and received Third Prize at FotoRevista in February of 2018. Toribio’s work has also appeared in several digital photographic magazines and has been included in Joris Buiks’ 2011 phtotographic anthology “Turnon: Tattos”, published by Bruno Gmunder.

Enrique Toribio’s photographic work is available through Saatchi Art: https://www.saatchiart.com/etoribio

The artist’s website is located at:  https://etoribio.com

 

Gabriel Morcillo Raya

The Paintings of Gabriel Morcillo Raya

Born in Granada, Spain, in February of 1887, Gabriel Morcillo Raya was a painter and teacher. His oeuvre is composed mainly of figurative works and landscapes influenced by Orientalism, a movement which was particularly influential in Spain, due to Spain’s exceedingly dense and complex  relations with Islamic culture.

Gabriel Raya initially studied painting under the tutorage of his aunt Paquita Raya. He later attended Granada’s School of Fine Arts, where he studied under landscape and genre painters Miguel Vico Hernández and José de Larrocha González. In 1907, Raya relocated in Madrid to continue his studies under Valencian painter and illustrator Cecilio Plá y Gallardo: however, due to financial reasons, he was impelled to return to his hometown of Granada. In 1910, Raya received a grant from the Granada Provincial Council which enabled him to travel back to Madrid for further studies. 

Raya exhibited his work during his years in Madrid and earned in 1912 an honorable mention for the work he presented at National Exhibition of Fine Arts. In the same year, he was appointed director of the Residence of Painters of the Alhambra. Two years later, Raya returned to Granada and, in 1918, was awarded a scholarship to the Academy of Painting in Rome, which he did not accept. His work began to challenge the pictorial content of the time with its more concrete detail and use of movement and color.

In 1925, Gabriel Raya became an academician of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando, Granada’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts, and the Royal Academy of Fine Arts at San Telmo. He accepted the position as Professor of Decorative Painting and Natural Figure in 1927 at Granada’s School of Arts and Crafts, where he influenced several generations of local artists, among whom was the painter José Guerrero whose later work  became known for its chromatic masses of color, and Miguel Pérez Aguilera, whose development of his own pictorial language played an important role in contemporary Spanish art.

Raya had his first exhibition of his orientalist works in 1944 in Granada and achieved great success at exhibitions held in Buenos Aires, New York City, and Venice, Italy. During the period from  1955 to 1960,  he traveled to Madrid to paint portraits of Francisco Franco and his wife, and Admiral Carrero Blanco and other members of Madrid’s high bourgeoisie. Raya received the Silver Medal of the Red Cross, a decoration for those people whose voluntary actions supported the Spanish Red Cross, and, in 1951, the Grand Cross of the Order of Alfonso X the Wise for merit in the field of culture. 

Gabriel Morcillo Raya passed away in Granada in December of 1973, at the age of eighty-five. Several of his works, including the 1916 “Dwarf El Puerto Real”, can be seen in the collection of Granada’s Museum of Fine Arts. 

Note: An interesting article on the orientalist movement is “Editorial: Spain and Orientalism” by Anna McSweeney and Claudia Hopkins which is located at Taylor & Francis Online:  https://doi.org/10.1080/17561310.2017.1316039

Insert Images: 

Gabriel Morcillo Raya, “Muchachos”, Initial Stucy, Date Unknown, Watercolor on Paper, 57 x 47 cm, Private Collection

Gabriel Morcillo Raya, “Self Portrait”, Date Unkonw, Oil on Canvas, Private Collection

Herbert List

Photography by Herbert List

Herbert List was a classically educated artist who combined his fascination with  Surrealism and Classicism with his love for photography. His austere, classically posed black and white compositions, particularly his Greek and Italian homoerotic nudes, became a prominent influence on both fashion and contemporary photography. 

Born in Hamburg, Germany, in October of 1903 to a wealthy business family, Herbert List  studied art and literature between 1921 and 1923 at the University of Heidelberg. In 1923, he began to travel for the family’s coffee business, Kaffee-Import Firma List & Heineken. List made contacts and visited plantations in Costa Rica, Guatemala, Brazil and El Salvador; during this four year period, he began to record his travels photographically.  

Through his connections to the European avant-garde, List became associated with  American photographer Andreas Bernhard, known for his dynamic black and white city scenes and natural structures. Bernhard  introduced him to the Rolleiflex camera which allowed for more sophisticated compositions. Beginning in 1930, influenced by the Bauhaus artists and  the emerging surrealist movement, List began photographing still life and portraits of friends, often employing draped fabrics, masks, and double exposures. 

Once the National Socialist Party was in control of Germany, the Gestapo began to pay attention to Herbert List’s openly gay lifestyle and Jewish heritage. In 1936, he left Germany for Paris and decided to begin a professional career as a photographer. During 1937 List maintained a studio in London and held his first solo show at Galerie du Chasseur d’Images, the first Paris gallery dedicated to photography.  Starting in 1936 with a reference from fashion photographer George Hoyningen-Huene to Harper’s Bazaar magazine, List began a three year period working as a fashion photographer for various magazines, including Verve, Vogue, and Life.

Dissatisfied  with fashion photography, List returned to his still life and portraiture  work. He traveled throughout Greece from 1937 to 1939 where he took photographs of ancient temples, sculptures and landscapes; two hundred of these photographs would be published in his 1953 “Licht Über Hellas: Eine Symphonie in Bildern”. During this time, List supported himself with work for magazines and the press, and by doing portraiture work. 

Working in Athens, Herbert List hoped to escape World War II; however, when troops invaded Greece, he was forced in 1941 to return to Germany, where, due to a grandparent’s Jewish heritage, he was denied the ability to work or publish professionally. Near the end of the war in 1944, despite his Jewish heritage, he was drafted into the German military and served in Norway as a map designer. A trip to Paris during his military service allowed him the opportunity to photograph images of Jean Cocteau, Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Jean Arp, Joan Miró, and other artists.

After the war, List continued to live in Munich until 1960, where he photographed its ruins and produced freelance photo essays for newspapers and magazines such as Look, Picture Post, Heute, and Harper’s Bazaar. List was made art editor in 1948 for the Swiss-German language, daily free newspaper Heute, which was published by the Allied Forces. In 1951 through an invitation by photojournalist Robert Capa, he started contributing photographs to Magnum, an international photographic cooperative. 

Through the next decade Herbert List focused his interest on photographing life in Italy. where he shot photo essays, street scenes, architectural views, and portraits using a 35 mm camera and a telephoto lens. His work became more spontaneous and was influenced by the Italian neorealist film movement and the work of his Magnum colleague Henri Cartier-Bresson. List ’s travels for his photographic work was extensive, including trips to Spain, France, Mexico, and the Caribbean. 

List’s publications include “Rom”, a collection of his work in Rome, published in Munich in 1950:“Caribia”, his Caribbean Island series published in 1958: “Nigeria”, published in 1963; and “Napoli”,  a 1962  collaboration with Italian director Vittorio de Sica. List is best known for his  1988 book “Junge Männer”, a collection of seventy images of young men lounging in the sun, wrestling, or gazing at the camera. The introduction of the book was written by English novelist Stephen Spender, who fictionalized List as Joachim Lenz in his novel “The Temple”. 

Herbert List passed away in Munich on the 4th of April in 1975. His archive of photographs, originally part of the Ratjen Collection, is now housed in the National Gallery in Washington DC. His work is held in many private and public collections, including New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, Boston’s Museum of Fine Art, Kunsthaus Zürich, Cologne’s Museum Ludwig, Munich;s Stadtmaueum, and the Musée Picasso in Paris.

Insert Images:

Herbert List, “Self Portrait, Herrsching”, 1947, Silver Gelatin Print

Herbert List, “Man and Dog”, 1939, Gelatin Silver Print

Photographer Unknown, “Herbert List and Max Scheler, Venice”, 1952, Silver Gelatin Print, Mas Scheler Estate

Herbert List, “Young Man Under Reed Roof, Torremolinos”, 1951, Gelatin Silver Print

Chris Plytas

Photography by Chris Plytas

Born in 1953 in London, Chris Plytas is an established contemporary visual artist whose work covers the psychology of self-image and identity. His photographic portraiture works have been admired often for their way of unearthing the primal and sensual core of their subjects, and the way they sometimes straddle the borderline between beatific innocence and animal rage.

From 1974 to 1977, Plytas studied fine art, painting and sculpture at St. Martins School of Art in London and earned a BFA with honors. After graduation, he developed his darkroom skills on landscape and portraiture photography.Plytas also  did reportage photography for publications, in which he covered  events such as night clubs, concerts, fashion shows, the Royal Wedding, and the Cannes Film Festival.

During the period form 1977 to 1985, Chris  Plytas did photographic printing, layouts, and personal design realization in London for Vivienne Westwood, the English fashion designer largely responsible for bringing punk and new wave fashions into the mainstream. In 1982, he became Director of Berwick Universal Pictures, Limited, an award-winning documentary film company based in Soho, London.  Starting in 1985, Plytas began concentrating on his own personal, black and white, fine art photography, shot with Hasselblad cameras, for exhibition and personal archives. 

Chris Plytas’ first series, entitled “Australia”, was shot over a six month period mostly in the New South Wales and Victoria provinces of Australia. This large body of work, consisting of landscape and portraiture, was exhibited in 1987 at London’s Photographers Gallery and toured Europe for six years with support from Fonds National d’Art Contemporain, a public collection of France’s contemporary art. 

Starting in 1987, Plytas engaged in a six-year shoot for his series “Hadrian: The Violence and Sexuality of Adolescence” series, a coming of age story shot in real time. His next series “Le Corps Enjeux (The Body)” was shown as part of the Mois de la Photo exhibition, sponsored by Audiovisuel and Kodak,  held in Paris in 1988. Plytas spent a year from 1992 to 1993 in the Xi’an and the Yannan regions of China, where he shot his “China: Voyage to the East” portfolio, a series which he dedicated to Sun Wukong, the trickster Monkey King.

Known for his exhibited photographic series, Chris Plytas began to receive commissions for portraiture work. His “Family Portraits” series was commissioned by the De Ganay Archives and, at present, consists of forty-eight individual portraits of members of the French aristocratic family. He has also received portraiture commissions from various  other European  and American families 

After shooting his “Miami Beach” series in  1994.  Plytas  has continued working, throughout his career, on multiple personal portfolios, some of which have been exhibited and published. These include his “The Burden of Classicism”; “Nature and Nurture”; “Youth: A Retrospective” shot in Italy; “Beach-Scapes” shot in  Italy and Sicily; a series entitled “Allegorical Portraits”; and “Blood Ties”, a portfolio documenting family member connections.

In addition to his participation in numerous group exhibitions, Plytas  has shown his work in solo gallery exhibitions, including  Paris’ Galerie PONS in 1995, Paris’ Galerie Serge Aboukrat in 2000, a 2002 exhibition in Italy entitled “Frascati Doc”, an exhibition project at the Chateau de Courances in France in 2004, and in 2015 a Paris exhibition entitled “What is Erotic?”. 

Chris Plytas’ work is available in limited editions and custom portfolios. Private individual or family portraits can be commissioned. His website is located at: https://www.chrisplytas.com/index

Insert Images:

Chris Plytas,, Title Unknown (Slogan on Wall), 1992-93, China, Voyage to the East Series, Silver Gelatin Print

Chris Plytas,, “Boy and Girl Entwined”, 1986-2003, The Body Series, Silver Gelatin Print

Franz Szony

Photographic Work by Franz Szony

Raised in Reno, Nevada, Franz Szony is a writer and photographic artist whose main body of work, both in its fine art and commercial forms, embraces conceptual portraiture. 

After finishing his primary education in 2014, which included art classes at an early age, Szony relocated to San Francisco where he attended the Academy of Art. At the academy, he initially studied fashion and illustration, and, later. focused on photography. After learning the technical aspects of photography, Szony returned to his hometown of Reno where, as a freelance artist, he photographed different advertisement campaigns for newspapers, theaters, and several casinos. He exhibited his own work in a small gallery he created and hosted monthly nude drawing workshops in that space. 

Szony moved to Los Angeles in 2012 and settled in the Brewery Artist Loft complex, an industrially zoned area where artists rent living and working space. Inspired by the area’s creative energy, he photographed campaigns for perfume and fashion brands, created album covers, and did creative photographic work for companies, including Disney and Warner Brothers. 

Influenced by illustrators such as Marc Davis and Erte, and, at an early age, by the extravagant stage shows of Reno’s casinos, Franz Szony’s conceptual portraiture work is lush both in its color and settings. His images are presented ambiguously in time and place, and androgynously in character. Szony’s photographs often contain symbolic or mythological elements and convey psychological, political, and sexual identity messages to the viewers.  

Franz Szony is also a songwriter who has produced several music videos in which he has incorporated his poetry and visual art. Shot over a period of three days, his music video, “Petunia”, based on several of his photographic pieces, was released in 2018. Other music videos by Szony include “La Petite Mort”, “Antibeige”, and “Pansy”, also released in 2018; and “What You Seek” and “Surrender Dorothy”, both released in 2020. 

Szony had solo exhibitions at Reno’s Sierra Arts Foundation in 2015 and at Hollywood’s World of Wonder Gallery in 2019. His work is included in many private collections. Franz Szony’s website is located at http://www.franzszony.com

William Orpen

William Orpen, “Self Portrait on Cliff Top in Howth”, cica 1910, Black Charcoal and Gouache, 50.5 x 36.5 cm, Private Collection

Born in County Dublin in November of 1878, William Newenham Montague Orpen was an Irish draftsman and portrait painter of London’s wealthy Edwardian society. A talented figure of British-Irish Post-Impressionism, he was the youngest son of wealthy, amateur painters and a gifted student who learned rapidly from a succession of celebrated tutors. 

William Orpen was enrolled at the Dublin Metropolitan School of Art in 1891, where he studied from 1892 to 1896.  He continued his studies at London’s Slade School of Art between 1897 and 1899, under figurative painter Henry Tonks, landscape painter Philip Wilson Steer, and genre and portrait painter Frederick Brown. Having mastered oil painting and different painting techniques, Orpen’s work, during his six years of study, received many prizes including the British Isles gold medal for life drawing.

Upon graduation from the Slade School, Orpen, along with his fellow graduate, Welsh painter Augustus John,  opened in the autumn of 1903, the Chelsea Art School, a private teaching studio, near King’s Road in Chelsea. Although it was meant as a joint venture, most of the teaching and running of the school was undertaken by John, with Orpen’s chief contribution being a series of lectures on anatomy. Both male and female students were admitted to the school but, despite John’s own bohemian lifestyle, the sexes were segregated for the Life classes. The project was not a success, and, after the waning of both’s interest, the school closed in 1907.

From 1902 to 1915, William Orpen, in addition to his classes at the Chelsea School, taught at the Dublin Metropolitan School of At, where his pupils included portrait painter Margaret Clarke,  romantic-realist painter John Keating, and cartoonist Grace Gifford. In the summer of 1904, he and his friend and mentor, the gallery director and art dealer Hugh Lane, traveled to Paris and Madrid. Orpen guided Lane on the purchase of Impressionist works, and Lane, several years later, commissioned Orpen for a portrait series of notable Irish figures to be displayed at Dublin’s  Municipal Gallery of Modern Art. In 1908, Orpen began exhibiting his work regularly at London’s Royal Academy;  the work in this period was done in a distinctive open-air style that featured figures composed of touches of color.

Starting in 1912, Orpen began his successful career as a portrait painter with a series of portraits of his favorite model, Vera Brewster Hone, the wife of writer Joseph Hone. This series, of such quantity that Orpen numbered them instead of naming them, included the 1912 “The Angler” and the 1918 “The Roscommon Dragoon”, which portrayed Vera Brewster wearing a Dragoon uniform. With the support of painter John Singer Sargent, Orpen built a reputation, in both Dublin and London, as a fashionable portrait painter who presented his subjects in a traditional, polished style. He also painted several group portraits, a popular genre at the time, which include the 1912 “The Cafe Royal in London”, depicting Orpen and Augustus John,  and the 1909 “Homage to Manet”, with the subjects, including Hugh Lane and Henry Tonks, assembled before Manet’s portrait of Eva Gonzales.

In December of 1915, as World War One commenced, William Orpen was commissioned into the Army Service Corps. In January of 1917, through connections with the senior ranks of the British Army, he was given the title of an official artist, which included a promotion to major and unrestricted access to the Front areas in France. Throughout the war years, Orpen painted battle locations, trench scenes, and many portraits of both enlisted men and officers. For his work in this period, he stopped using half-tones and half-shades and adopted a new palettes of colors, with weak purples,  bright greens, and large white spaces of sunlight. Many of these war artist works are in the collection of the Imperial War Museum in London.

Both before and after the war, Orpen produced a number of realistic self-portraits. in which he used his skills as a draftsman to resolve the challenges of surface, lighting, and reflection that he set for himself. His 1910 “Myself and Cupid” was actually a painting within a painting; in this portrait, Orpen painted a table top beyond which was hung a portrait of himself sitting next to a statue of Cupid. Orpen’s 1910 self portrait, known as “Leading the Life in the West”, shows him reflected full-length in a mirror in his studio, wearing a bowler hat and holding gloves and a riding crop. An IOU note is tucked in the frame of the mirror, a testament to the pleasures and distractions of his early career. In Orpen’s 1917 self-portrait “Ready to Start”, painted shortly after his arrival in France, Orpen is inspecting himself in the mirror wearing his military uniform. The French postcards and papers on the desk in the foreground set the scene of wartime France, while the bottles of wine and spirits reference Orpen’s dependence on alcohol during the war.

William Orpen’s life after the war was never the same: he became an alcoholic, grew distant from his wife and family, and mostly painted only to support the lavish lifestyle he took up in Paris with his mistress. Despite his personal problems he was still successful and continued to exhibit widely. Orpen was made a member of the prestigious Royal Academy in 1921 and, in 1923, he received a commission to paint a portrait of Edward, Prince of Wales, for the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews. In 1927 he was commissioned for a portrait of Prime Minister David Lloyd George, which was posthumously entered into the National Portrait Gallery. Orpen’s work was also part of the painting event at the 1926 Summer Olympics in Amsterdam.

Orpen became seriously ill in May of 1931, and , after a period of alcohol-induced illness and memory loss, died in London, at the age of fifty-two, in September of 1931. His contribution to the teaching of Irish art has always been recognized as he helped to nurture and influence Ireland’s most important painters of the twentieth-century.William Orpen is buried at Putney Vale Cemetery in southwestern London; a commemorative stone is located in the Island of Ireland Peace Park at Messines, Belgium.

Insert Images Top to Bottom:

William Orpen, Self Portrait, 1913, Oil on Canvas, 122.9 x 89.9 cm, Saint Louis Art Museum

Sir William Orpen, “Self Portrait”, circa 1901, Colored Chalk on Dark Gray Paper, 15.5 x 10.9 cm, Private Collection

William Orpen, “Self Portrait (Ready to Start)”, 1917, Oil on Panel, 60.8 x 49.4 cm, Imperial War Museum, London

Leonardo Corredor

The Black and White Photography of Leonardo Corredor

Born in Mérida, Venezuela, and based in New York City, Leonardo Corredor is a photographer and art film director. Before his photography career, he was professional model, named Best Venezuelan Model in 2007. Since his first appearance as an actor in 2010, Corredor has appearred in several acting roles on television series, including “Control Remoto”, “Dum Dum”, and “La Merienda”. He has also hosted Telemundo’s show “Invasion Casera”.

In 2012 Corredor became a creative director and fashion photographer for webzines, print magazines and fashion advertisers, including Essential Homme, Man About Town, Rollercoaster Magazine, Portrait, Fashionably Male, and Solar Magazine, among others. He is represented by The Industry MGMT, a artist and model management agency, focused on still and motion photography,  with offices in New York and Los Angeles.

Examples of Leonardo Corredor’s photographic and video work can be found at his site located at: https://www.leonardocorredor.com

Glyn Warren Philpot

Glyn Warren Philpot, “A Young Breton”, 1917, Oil on Canvas, 127 z 101.6 cm, Tate Museum, London

Best known for his portraits of contemporary figures, Glyn Warren Philpot was a British painter and sculptor. Born in Chapham, London in 1884, he began studies at the Lambeth School of Art in 1900, under landscape painter Philip Connard. Philpot later studied at the studio of painter and sculptor Jean-Paul Laurens at the Académie Julian in Paris.

 In 1904 one of Philpot’s paintings was included in the Royal Academy’s annual Summer Exhibition and this led to his first portrait commission. By 1911, he was living and working in a studio flat in London and had become successfully established as a society portrait painter. Painting up to dozen portrait commissions a year, Philpot was able travel in Europe and America, where he absorbed the modernist influences of portraits by Diego Velázquez, Edouard Manet, and  Francisco de Goya, among others. 

Following his conversion to Catholicism in 1905, Glyn Philpot explored religious and spiritual subject matter throughout his career. After a visit to Florence and central Italy for the first time in the early 1920s, his production of religious-inspired paintings increased significantly. Philpot also produced narrative scenes that were less formal and done with looser brushwork. Some of these show the influence of the French Symbolist movement, which was disseminated throughout the European art forms at this time. These more personal works of Philpot were shown in 1910 at his first solo exhibition in London, however, these works  received far less critical acclaim than his portraits. 

Despite his conversion to Catholicism, Philpot’s interests in the male nude and portraits of young men show a gradual expression of his own homosexuality. A trip to Berlin in the autumn of 1931, where Philpot confronted both the shocking rise of Nazism and the sexual openness of the city, encouraged him to be less secretive about his own homosexuality. This trip further contributed to his belief in the need for a change and a new openness in his art. At an exhibition in 1932, Philpot showed transparently homoerotic portraits of Julien Zaïre, a Parisian cabaret artist, and Karl Heinz Müller, a young German man who had been Philpot’s companion in Berlin. 

After the start of World War I, Glyn Philpot joined the Royal Fussiliers and, in August of 1915, attended a training course at Aldershot, known as the home of the British Army. There he met Vivian Forbes, a fellow soldier and aspiring artist.. In 1917, as officers, they were independently invalided out of the army and, together, they shared a home and studio at Lanstown House in London between 1923 and 1935. Formerly a business man in Egypt, Forbes, with encouragement from Philpot, became an artist and later exhibited at the Royal Academy and elsewhere throughout the 1920s. Although he was talented, charming and devoted to Philpot, Forbes demonstrated increasing emotional instability, within which he became insanely jealous of Philpot’s other friends and liaisons. Despite the tumultuous nature of the relationship, Philpot never disowned him and found inspiration in their relationship.

Philpot lived in Paris  for a year in 1931, at a time when modernism was at its beginning. His exposure to modern art in Europe had an impact on Philpot’s work and influenced the change in style that characterized his early paintings in the 1930s. His “Acrobats Waiting to Rehearse”, painted in 1939 with monochromic light pink hues and contemplative mood, is similar in style to Picasso’s work of his Rose Period. Philpot was also acquainted with the art of Henri Matisse, whom he had met in 1930 when both were on the jury at the Carnegie International Competition, where Picasso was awarded first prize.

On visits to America and Paris, Glyn Philpot frequented jazz clubs and made sketches and painted portraits of black men. At a time when few portraits of black men were painted by white artists, Philpot’s paintings and drawings display empathy and sensitivity towards his sitters. In 1929, he met Henry Thomas, a Jamaican man who had missed his boat home, and  became a steady companion and aide until Philpot’s death. Starting in 1932, Thomas would sit as the model for all of Philpot’s paintings of black men. 

During the 1930s Philpot suffered from high blood-pressure and breathing difficulties. He passed the summer of 1937 in France where he spent time with Forbes. On December 18th,  Philpot collapsed suddenly in London and died of a brain hemorrhage. Vivian Forbes returned from Paris in a highly distressed state to attend Philpot’s funeral at Westminster Cathedral on December 22. The following day he took his own life with an overdose of sleeping pills. Glyn Warren Philpot is buried in a pink granite tomb in St. Peter’s Churchyard, Petersham, in west London. The burial site of Vivian Forbes is unknown.

Note: In regards to Glyn Philbo’s 1917 painting “A Young Breton”, there is another picture of the same young man, full face, entitled ‘Guillaume Rolland, a Young Breton’, in the Art Gallery of Toronto, Canada. This painting most likely was painted about the same time as the Tate image, shown above.

Inser Images From Top to Bottom:

Glyn Warren Philpot, “Portrait of Henry Thomas”, Date Unknown, Private Collection

Glyn Warren Philpot, “Resurgam (Again)”, 1929, Oil on Canvas, 86 x 89 cm, Private Collection

:Glyn Warren Philpot, “The Man in Black”, 1913, Oil on Canvas, 76.8 x 69.2 cm, Tate Museum, London

Glyn Warren Philpot, “Portrait of Vivian Forbes”, Date Unknown, Oil on Canvas, 146 x 97 cm, Private Collection

The Liberty of a Frozen Morning

Photographer Unknown, The Liberty of a Frozen Morning

“The approach of a man’s life out of the past is history, and the approach of time out of the future is mystery. Their meeting is the present, and it is consciousness, the only time life is alive. The endless wonder of this meeting is what causes the mind, in its inward liberty of a frozen morning, to turn back and question and remember. The world is full of places. Why is it that I am here?”

—Wendell Berry, The Long-Legged House

Henry Marvell Carr

Henry Marvell Carr, “Maurice Alan Easton”, 1944, Oil on Canvas, 76.2 x 63.5 cm, National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London

Born in August of 1894 in Leeds, England, Henry Marvell Carr was a British portrait and landscape painter. He studied at Leeds College of Art and did his postgraduate work at the Royal College of Art under painter and printmaker William Rothenstein, best known for his work as a war artist in both World Wars. 

Henry Carr served in the Royal Field Artillery in France during World War I. The work he produced as a war artist was exhibited at London’s Royal Academy in 1921, and in other British and Parisian galleries. Among the works Carr painted during the 1920s were landscapes depicting England’s south coast and portraits of Olivia Davis, his daughter, and writer Aldous Huxley.

At the outbreak of war in 1939, Carr received an appointment by the War Artists’ Advisory Committee to serve as an official war artist. The first exhibition of his war paintings was held in July of 1940 at the National Gallery in London, which included his 1940 “Dismantling Emergency Water Tank”, a tableaux depicting the removal of one of the National Fire Services’s storage tanks installed during the Nazi bombardment of London. Other wartime works of Carr includes the 1941 “Incendiaries in a Suburb”, “Merchant Seaman Fireman” in 1942, and views of London’s gothic Saint Pancras Station and Saint Danes Church on the Strand.

Between 1942 and 1945, Henry Carr was later attached to the British First Army in North Africa and Italy, where he painted the battles, infantrymen, and casualties of these campaigns. Among his works in this period were portraits of General Dwight Eisenhower and naval telegraph operator Maurice Easton, and a 1945 depiction of a gun crew stationed at the entrance to the port of Algiers, entitled “A Bofors Gun, Algiers”. While stationed in Italy in 1944, Carr witnessed and painted a major eruption of Mount Vesuvius which occurred in late March and destroyed several towns. 

After the war, Carr resumed his career as a portrait painter. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters in 1948, and, in 1956, was awarded the Paris Salon’s Gold Medal. In 1966, Carr was elected Royal Academician at London’s Royal Academy. He published two academic works, the  1952 “Portrait Painting” and “Portrait Drawing” in 1961. Henry Marvel Carr died in South Kensington, London, in March of 1971 at the age of seventy-five.

Henry Carr’s 1944 head and shoulders portrait “Maurice Alan Easton” depicts Easton, who had a hostilities-only rating, in his seaman’s uniform and naval cap. As he was a telegraphist, Eason bears the radio communicator’s badge on his right arm. Originally a civilian railway clerk from Oxfordshire, Easton was selected from his naval barracks at Naples by Captain Carr who was working there as a wartime artist. In order to impart a symbolic significance to the portrait of the young man, Carr used fluid brushstrokes and portrayed Easton in a heroic stance. 

Carr’s finished work was exhibited simply as ‘The Sailor’ in the Navy League’s post-war ‘Naval Art Exhibition’, which was held at the Suffolk Street Galleries and opened by the First Lord of the Admiralty on the 29th of January in 1946. The image of Easton was also used as a poster for the show, which greatly astonished Easton when he was sent back to London at that time and saw his face on the advertising billboards. Greenwich’s Maritime Museum only learnt the identity of the sitter, and the circumstances surrounding the portrait, from a 1946 clipping of the Sunday Dispatch newspaper, that it received in 1975 from an acquaintance of Maurice Easton.

Insert Image: Henry Marvell Carr, “ Staff Sergeant major E. A. Billett”, 1943, Oil on Canvas, 60.9 x 51.4 cm, Imperial War Museum, London

Frank Duveneck

Paintings by Frank Duveneck

Born in October of 1848 in Covington, Kentucky, Frank Duveneck was an American etcher and painter. He began painting in his early teens and was employed as an assistant to Wilhelm Lamprecht, a graduate of Munich’s Royal Academy who began a mission to decorate churches in the Cincinnati region. In 1869, Duveneck traveled to Munich where he intended to continue his study of church decoration.

After developing an interest in easel painting, Duveneck enrolled in 1870 at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, where he studied under painters and illustrators Wilheim Diez and Alexander Strähuber.. Gaining distinction for his work, Duveneck won a prize in 1872 that entitled him to a studio of his own. Some of his best known works were painted during his time in Germany, including his 1872 “Whistling Boy”. one of Duveneck’s first renditions of working-class ruffians, now housed in the Cincinnati Art Museum.

Frank Duveneck’s work of this period are painted in a vigorous style that reveals the influence of Wilhelm Leibi, who was the leader of a group of young German realists guided by French  realist Gustave Courbet’s innovative and social-themed work. Duveneck’s early style, with its generally dark colors and expressive brushwork, was a melding of contemporary German practice with his interest in the techniques of the Old Masters, particularly the seventeenth-century Dutch and Flemish painters.

Duveneck returned to Cincinnati in 1873, and, in the following year, exhibited portraits he had painted in Germany. His reputation as an artist in the United States began with a successful 1875 Boston exhibition of his work where his bold and spontaneous style caused a sensation. Despite encouragement to stay in Boston and paint commissioned portraits, Duveneck returned to Germany where he set up a studio in Munich and began to develop a reputation among its American students.

After a trip to Venice in 1877, Frank Duveneck opened his own painting school in Munich, which soon drew the attention of studying artists. His students, who would become known as the Duveneck Boys, included such future artists as portrait painter and illustrator John White Alexander, and impressionist landscape painters Theodore Wendel and John H. Twachtman. In 1879 Duveneck and his students traveled to Italy, where they would remain for the next two years spending winters in Florence and summers in Venice.

Duveneck was elected to the Society of American Artists in 1880. Around this time, he became interested in etching and produced several works in this medium which were similar in style to those of James Whistler, whom Duveneck had met in Venice. This collection of works were exhibited in a London exhibition in 1881. After 1880 Duveneck altered his painting style to one of lighter colors and less somber lighting effects, which might have been a response to his stay in Italy.

In March of 1886, Frank Duveneck married Elizabeth Boott, one of his students. They lived at Villa Casteliani in Florence for two years and had one son, Frank Boott Duveneck. After his wife’s 1988 death of pneumonia in Paris, Duveneck made the decision  to return in the following year to the United States. He taught painting classes at Cincinnati, New York and Chicago, and frequently traveled to Europe throughout the 1890s. Duveneck became a teacher at the Art Academy of Cincinnati in 1890 and became a regular faculty member in 1900. He was elected into the National Academy of Design in 1905, and became a full Academician in 1906. 

Duveneck exhibited his works in a private room at the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition held in San Francisco; his works were received with great acclaim, and he was awarded a Special Gold Medal of Honor. Before his death in Cincinnati on January 2, 1919, Frank Duveneck donated a large and important group of his works to the Cincinnati Art Museum, which remains the center for Duveneck studies. His works can be seen at the New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Gallery in Washington, DC, Boston’s Museum of Fine Art, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, among others.

Top Insert Image:  J. Land, Portrait of Frank Duveneck, 1877, Detail, Photographic Sepia Print on Cabinet Card, Smithsonian Institution

Middle Insert Image: Frank Duveneck, “Study for ‘The Harem Guard”, 1879, Oil on Canvas, 76.2 x 66 cm, Fine Art Museums of San Francisco

Bottom Insert Image: Frank Duveneck, “Self-Portrait”, 1877, Oil on Canvas, Cincinnati Art Museum

 

 

August Sander

August Sander: Portraits from “People of the Twentieth Century”

Born in 1876 in Herdorf, a small village east of Cologne in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany, August Sander was a photographer, now viewed as a forefather of conceptual art and a pioneering documentarian of human diversity. 

Sander spent his time, between 1897 and 1899, as a photographer’s assistant during his military service. In 1901, Sander started working for a photo studio in Linz, Austria, became a partner in 1902, and then the proprietor in 1904. By this time, he already had several exhibitions and purchases of his work by museums. After many successful exhibitions of his work, Sander relocated his studio to Cologne. 

In 1911, August Sander began the first series of portraits for what would be his monumental project, “People of the Twentieth Century”, an archived and sustained photographic enterprise of twentieth-century man, These emphatically objective photographs from the years of the Kaisers, the Weimar Republic, the Nazi regime, and the early Federal Republic make up an unprecedented document of both the individual and the collective recent history of the German  people. 

In 1927, August Sander traveled through Sardinia for three months, where he took hundreds of photographs. A exhibition of his portraits at the Kölnische Kunstverein in 1927 received positive reviews from both critics and the public. This exhibition led to the 1929 publishing of Sander’s “Antlitz der Zeit (Faces of Our Time)”, which included the first sixty portraits from his twentieth-century series and an introduction by German novelist and essayist Alfred Döblin.

Under the rise of the Nazi regime in Germany, Sander’s work and personal life were greatly restrained. In 1934, Sander’s son Erich, a member of the Socialist Workers’ Party, was arrested and sentenced to ten years in prison, where he died shortly before the end of his sentence. The printing blocks for Sander’s “Antlitz der Zeit” were destroyed and unsold copies impounded in 1936 by the authorities, most likely due to the publication’s image of a heterogeneous German society of which the Nazi Party disapproved.

Despite the political situation in Germany between 1933 and 1945, August Sander continued working in his Cologne studio, portraying intellectuals, Jewish citizens, National Socialists, as well as regular people from the street. Many of these commercial portraits were included in his opus ”People of the Twentieth Century” where they became a political statement. Beginning in 1942, Sander started to relocate the most important parts of his negative archive to Kuchhausen, a small village in Westerwald, where he continued both his commercial photographic work and  his project wor

Although August Sander’s main studio in Cologne was destroyed in a 1944 bombing raid, tens of thousands of his negatives, which he had left behind in the basement of a former apartment in Cologne, survived the war. In a later 1946 fire, approximately twenty-five thousand negatives were destroyed in the same apartment basement. In 1946, Sander continued his historical archive with  a post-war photographic documentation of the bombed city of Cologne in 1946. 

Sander sold a portfolio of four-hundred and eight photographs of Cologne, taken between 1920 and 1939, to the Kölnisches State Museum in 1953. These photos would form the 1988 book “Koõin wie es War (Cologne As It Was)””.  In 1962 an edition of eighty photographs from the “People of the Twentieth Century” was published as a book entitled “German Mirror: People of the Twentieth Century”. Still working on his project at the age of eighty-eight, August Sander died of a stroke on April 20th in 1964. His body was buried next to his son Erich in Cologne’s Melaten Cemetery.  

One of the most ambitious undertakings in the history of photography, the “People  of the Twentieth Century” project occupied Sander for some 40 years, from the early 1920s until his death, during which he took portraits of hundreds of German citizens and then categorized them by social type and occupation — from farm laborers to circus performers to prosperous businessmen and aristocrats. Remarkable for their unflinching realism and deft analysis of character and lifestyle, Sander’s individual images stand out as high points of photographic portraiture and collectively propose the idea of the archive as art. 

Although the Nazis confiscated the first publication of Sander’s work, and the majority of his negatives were later destroyed by fire, approximately eighteen hundred portrait negatives for “People of the Twentieth Century” survived, as well as Sander’s notes and plans. Together with the existing vintage prints, they have provided the basis for current reconstruction of Sander’s ambitious project in both book and exhibition form.

Middle Insert Image: August Sander, “Workmen in the Ruhr Region”, 1928, Silver Gelatin Print, August Sander Archive, VG, Bild-Kunst

Leonardo Corredor, “João Knorr”

Leonardo Corredor, “João Knorr”, Los Angeles Photo Shoot for Man About Town, January 2019

Born in Mérida, Venezuela, and based in New York City, Leonardo Corredor is a photographer and art film director. Before his photography career, he was professional model, named Best Venezuelan Model in 2007. Since his first appearance as an actor in 2010, Corredor has appearred in several acting roles on television series, including “Control Remoto”, “Dum Dum”, and “La Merienda”. He has also hosted Telemundo’s show “Invasion Casera”.

In 2012 Corredor became a creative director and fashion photographer for webzines, print magazines and fashion advertisers, including Essential Homme, Man About Town, Rollercoaster Magazine, Portrait, Fashionably Male, and Solar Magazine, among others. He is represented by The Industry MGMT, a artist and model management agency, focused on still and motion photography,  with offices in New York and Los Angeles.

Examples of Leonardo Corredor’s photographic and video work can be found at his site located at: https://www.leonardocorredor.com