|Product Details |
Thames & Hudson
From Publishers Weekly
This collection of over 150 photographs chronicles the model-turned-freelance photographer's distinctive 30-year career, from her beginnings as a portraitist with Man Ray, through her long association with Vogue magazine. Two-thirds of Miller's oeuvre consists of portraits; while most here are of famous artists and writers (RenT Magritte, Pablo Picasso, Ivy Compton-Burnette), the most arresting portraits come from her work as a WWII photoreporter for Vogue (at the time, Vogue was one of the leading publications for war coverage). Miller's frontal-view compositions reveal her frank and unflinching attitude toward the world around her; the disturbing close-ups of female collaborators in Paris and the smashed nose of an SS prison guard in Buchenwald repel even as they compel. Calvocoressi, the director of the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh, introduces the book, suggesting that the "ability to elicit feelings of disgust and sympathy at the same time is arguably what makes Miller and other war photographers... great artists." Her greatest accomplishments, Calvocoressi maintains, are her portraits of Picasso, which were produced over a 20-year period; she catches the artist, Calvocoressi writes, "absorbed in some activity, unselfconscious rather than posing." Gathered for the first time in this collection, Miller's work deserves a studied glance. 157 b&w illus.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Everything about Miller is unusual and, until now, too little known. A classic beauty, her first forays into the world of photography took place in front of the lens after Conde Nast saved her from being run over on a Manhattan street, then promptly hired her as a model for Vogue. In Paris she became muse, lover, and protege to surrealist Man Ray, opening her own studio in Montparnasse in 1930. A woman of innate style with, as Calvocoressi so crisply attests, an "unflinching" eye, Miller... read more
The remarkable and unconventional Lee Miller was one of the twentieth century's most accomplished photographers. At the age of twenty, she was discovered on a New York street by CondT Nast, who instantly decided to put her face on the cover of Vogue. Two years later she left America for Paris to become a photographer herself. There she became the disciple and lover of Man Ray and an intimate of the Paris art world. World War II saw her as Vogue's war correspondent, present at the liberation of Paris and when the Dachau concentration camp was first entered. Her later years were spent in London and at her home on the Sussex downs, where she kept up the many friendships she had made.
Miller came into contact with a wide range of people: painters, sculptors, actors, novelists, poets, journalists, musicians, dancers, and leaders in the field of fashion. She photographed them all, and many became close friends. In Lee Miller: Portraits from a Life, the finest of these photographs are shown together for the first time. They include not only perceptive and sympathetic portraits of Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Dora Maar, Fred Astaire, Marlene Dietrich, Igor Stravinsky, Yehudi Menuhin, Dylan Thomas, Colette, and a host of others but also pictures of Londoners in the Blitz, of Parisians celebrating their liberation, and of the aftermath of the Third Reich. An exhibition based on this show will be held at the Getty in 2003. 135 duotone photographs.