Verdex
Verdex
13 August 2023, 05:47

The World in Reflection: Florence Henri's Photographic Avant-Garde

The World in Reflection: Florence Henri's Photographic Avant-Garde
A prominent place in the world avant-garde photography of the 1920s–30s. was occupied by the artist Florence Henri. At one time, she was taught by the Hungarian artist and art theorist Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, and friendship and communication with his wife, Lucia Moholy, prompted Henri to take up photography. Florence Henri was born in 1893 in New York, but spent most of her life in Europe, where she met the key figures of various artistic movements.
In the summer of 1925, the first international exhibition of avant-garde art after the First World War took place in Paris. Works by Paul Klee, Pablo Picasso, Peter Mondrian were presented here, among them were photographs of Henri. After this exhibition, the artist entered the Bauhaus, an architectural and art school in Dessau (Germany). In 1929, she opened her own photography studio.
Henri's work has often been compared to the work of Man Ray, a spokesman for the New Vision movement. With the help of photography, she tried to subdue forms, lines, shadows, relying on the aesthetics of cubism, constructivism and, finally, surrealism. In addition, the artist was interested in the "elasticity" of space, which arises due to reflections. In the pictures you can often see the mirrors used in the creation of portraits and various compositions.
In the early 30s, Henri traveled to Rome, where she took a series of photographs of famous places: the Roman Forum, St. Peter's Square, etc. The images formed the basis of numerous collages. That was the peak of her creativity in this direction. During the Second World War, while living in occupied France, Henri could not fully create and experiment, and in the post-war period she abandoned photography and painted until the end of her life.

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