Erwin Blumenfeld was born right at the end of the 19th century and would go on to become one of the most talented photographers of his generation. Now, the Jeu de Paume – a museum dedicated to the art of photography — is presenting a retrospective on Blumenfeld that will allow visitors to discover or rediscover this important artist.
This complete retrospective at the Jeu de Paume represents the third time that the photographer has been honored in Paris. The Centre Pompidou organized the first exhibition on this artist in 1981 and the Maison Européenne de la Photographie organized a second in 1998. Blumenfeld made a name for himself as a fashion photographer in the first half of the 20th century. The Jeu de Paume’s exhibit will explore his career now only through his own photographs but also through videos and testimonies.
Early in his career, the artist, who was originally going to become a handbag designer, knew he was destined to work in fashion. Once he found his knack for photography, Blumenfeld began to experiment with various techniques including solarization and multiple exposure. He did this by superimposing negatives and also by using collages.
Blumenfeld’s favorite subject was the feminine body and his used his experimental techniques to create interesting effects with his photos. His unique style got him noticed by French Vogue, with whom he signed a contract in 1939. During the war, the artist switched themes and explored the horrors of Hitler. It was this work that earned him international recognition. He subsequently worked on Red Cross photo-montages for the American edition of Vogue. He also became the go-to photographer for the like of Audrey Hepburn and Natalia Pasco.
This exhibition — running from October 15, 2013 to January 26, 2014 — therefore presents Blumenfeld’s diverse and spectacular career for guests staying at the Hôtel Louvre Marsollier to see.