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Berenice Abbott, Photographs At Martin Gropius-Bau Museum, Berlin

September 14, 2016. NEW POST GOES UP EVERY WEDNESDAY, by Jack Dziamba
Abbott- New York

Abbott- New York


As Anne Morin, the curator of Berenice Abbott, Photographs writes in the September 14, 2016 issue of L’Oeil de la Photographie,

“The work of Berenice Abbott (1898-1991) played a decisive role in the history of photography and offered a new way to understand its language. She helped to relieve the medium of any comparison to painting; photography started to exist independently and according to its own characteristics.”

“Furthermore, Berenice Abbott left her mark in the history of photography in another way. Her name is inseparable from that of French photographer Eugène Atget (1857-1927), whose work she promoted in Europe and the United States.”

She discovered it in Paris, where she lived in the 1920’s before returning to New York in 1929, and Atget remained an important reference for Abbott throughout her life.”

Abbott- Grand Central Station


   Abbott- Grand Central Station


“Known in the 1920s and ‘30s in the avant-garde circles of Paris and New York as an activist in favor of recognizing documentary photography as art, Abbott never ceased to examine aspects of realism and modernism through her work, as in Changing New York (1935 – 1939), an attempt at “documentary interpretation” of the architectural transformation that New York underwent in the 1930s.”


In Paris,

Abbott-joyce“In Paris, she “worked first, as an assistant for Man Ray in his studio in Montparnasse; then, as a portrait photographer. Celebrities of all kinds and nationalities passed through her studio: the writers André Gide, Jean Cocteau and James Joyce; Sylvia Beach, owner of the famous Parisian English-language bookstore Shakespeare & Company; Jane Heap and Margaret C. Anderson, editors of the literary magazine The Little Review; the American composer George Antheil or the Japanese painter Foujita.”








“The notion of documentary would become prominent in the America in the mid-1930s. We find in the scientific work that Abbott developed later, in the 1940s and ‘50s, the same idea of documenting the invisible by photographing the wave motion of matter and light, and their many emanations.”


The work of artists such as Berenice Abbott, Eugène Atget, and Man Ray shows that their way of “seeing the world” is timeless. This view of the world Their images will be cherished by everyone, everywhere, and for all time.

Martin Gropius-Bau Museum,Niederkirchnerstraße 7,10963 Berlin, Germany http://www.museumsportal-berlin.de/

One comment on “Berenice Abbott, Photographs At Martin Gropius-Bau Museum, Berlin

  1. Fantastic Post! Love her work, especially the portraits. Your piece speaks to me!

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