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Fashion Photographer Blumenfeld Never Goes Out Of Style

From 15 October 2013 to 26 January 2014

More than fashion: History

Erwin Blumenfeld occupied a unique period of time in history. With a career that straddled two world wars, Blumenfeld expressed himself in numerous profound ways despite the fact that his area of fashion photography was generally not known for its profundity.

Now, the Jeu de Paume honors the work of Blumenfeld in a exhibit that brings together more than 300 works and documents dating from the end of the 1910s until the 1960s. The exhibit shows just how versatile the artist was by presenting not just his fashion photography but also his sketches, portraits, cityscapes, photo-montages and collages.

Spectators may be struck by just how familiar Blumenfeld's iconic black-and-white technique seems to them. That is because the photographer pioneered this style, which has now become a classic motif in photography. In addition, by experimenting with transposition, superimposition and montage, Blumenfeld brought edge and creativity to the pages of traditional magazines.

No matter what the photo was destined for — whether this be the inside of a fashion magazine or the wall of an art gallery — Blumenfeld always attempted to capture the hidden reality behind the surface of his subject. It is this eye for the mysterious that makes Blumenfeld's work still so intriguing almost 100 years later.