Installed at the Samaritaine until May 12, the exhibition “Erwin Blumenfeld. Fashion is a game”, invites you to rediscover this avant-garde artist who revolutionized fashion photography.

samaritaine erwin blumenfeld
Copyright Erwin Blumenfeld estate

A multi-dimensional exhibition

Temple of luxury and fashion in Paris, La Samaritaine highlights artists and actors from the world of fashion and art. In this majestic setting, we discover the most innovative shots of Erwin Blumenfeld, famous fashion photographer who has long worked for Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. In the store, the staging projects the visitor into a multi-dimensional space, far from the usual classic scenographies offered in museums and galleries: reproduced on large transparent canvases, the photographs are installed between the central stage and the level – 1 in a glass roof space. The visitor admires, between transparencies and games of hide and seek, these images taken yesterday in the photographer’s New York studio. In this floating universe, since the canvases – in black and white and in color – are hung high up, the effects of depth and the optical illusions make this installation a changing object that can be contemplated from different points of view. , from the basement or the ground floor. So much so that some images are disturbing and even seem in relief !

erwin blumenfeld photography
Copyright erwin Blumenfel estate

Photographer for Vogue

German of Jewish origin, Erwin Blumenfeld (1897-1969) left Berlin after the war of 14-18 to settle in the Netherlands. There he developed his relations with the avant-garde. Close to the Dada movement, he experiments with an art form that does not neglect any support. Adept at collage and drawing, he finds in photography not only a new language but also the possibility of a professional career. Settled in France in 1936, his career as a photographer really began the following year when he quickly established himself for his qualities as a portraitist. He will then carry out his work for the magazine press and his collaborations with art magazines like Verve. He then worked regularly for Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue France. The Second World War forced him into exile. He then settled in New York where from now on he would devote himself , which he would modify in depth through a skilful use of color.

Influenced by Italian renaissance

Endowed with a scathing humour, attached to European culture, the man seeks to renew the very notion of portrait with each shot, not hesitating to draw from an erudite inventory of various references. The history of traditional art accompanies him, like the recurring quotations to his first artistic passions. The Italian Renaissance, but also Impressionism and the surrealist approach slip into the images, in contraband. This tireless reader, fascinated by words, writing and ideas, nevertheless remained faithful to a conception of the world saved by creation and the role of the artist in society.

La Samaritaine

9 rue de la Monnaie, Paris

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