|Product Details |
Thames & Hudson
Erwin Blumenfeld shot to fame in 1938 with the publication of 14 sensational nude photographs in Verve magazine. The commission led to a career as one of the most gifted and sought-after fashion photographers of the '40s and '50s. However, throughout his career Blumenfeld remained fascinated with the naked female form and its representation within photography. In The Naked and the Veiled: The Photographic Nudes of Erwin Blumenfeld, his son Yorick traces Erwin's fascination with the nude to his visit at the age of 9 to an artist's studio in Berlin. Surprised by the young boy's entrance, the naked model "quickly threw a diaphanous cloth over herself. But the outline of her body was still visible against the light." Inspired by this moment, Blumenfeld later claimed that women could become "even more naked by their transparent veils." A psychoanalyst would have a field day with this comment, as well as Blumenfeld's subsequently compulsive and fetishistic photographs of the naked female form, captured over 40 years spanning his early days in Holland in the 1920s to his later years in the USA in the 1960s.
The 120 illustrations in duotone and color crisply reproduce Blumenfeld's obsession, from early experiments in form inspired by surrealism (and Man Ray in particular) to later, more classical nudes, playing with images of transparency and opacity. The Naked and the Veiled is an extraordinary photographic diary of a self-confessed "erotomaniac." --Jerry Brotton, Amazon.co.uk
From Library Journal
Blumenfeld (1897-1969)was a member of that generation of artists and intellectuals who came to America to escape the Third Reich. Always a deeply experimental photographer who sought to manipulate his images in the darkroom, Blumenfeld became an extremely influential fashion photographer for venues like Vogue and Harper's Bazaar. Throughout his career, he studied the female form, making a lifelong project of highly engineered nude photos that were too risque? to be published by the standards of... read more
One of the greatest fashion photographers of all time, Erwin Blumenfeld is also recognized as one of the most talented and profoundly erotic portrayers of the nude. He aimed to persuade his audience of the magical beauty of the female form, and to show the world that the nudes of the great master painters--from Botticelli to Ingres--could be challenged by the magical potential of the darkroom. Blumenfeld was an inspired innovator who experimented with solarizations, reticulations, negative-positive combinations, and chemical manipulations to enhance the mystery of his images. The Naked and the Veiled features, in both color and duotone, many photographs never before published, as well as Blumenfeld's famous shots such as Nude under Wet Silk. The text by Yorick Blumenfeld, the photographer's son, provides unusual insights into the work and brings a greater understanding of these highly original and complex images. This book shows the full range of Blumenfeld's astounding inventiveness, from the classic to the surreal to the abstract, from 1930s Amsterdam to 1960s New York. It will interest not only those who are already familiar with Blumenfeld's fashion photographs, but anyone interested in the history of the nude in photography who wishes to see the subject treated by one of the twentieth century's undisputed masters.