Erwin Blumenfeld - Photographs London Wednesday, May 7, 2014 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    From the artist to his studio assistant

  • Literature

    W. A. Ewing, Blumenfeld Photographs: A Passion for Beauty, New York: Abrams, 1996, pl. 44 for a variant, there dated 1936
    Erwin Blumenfeld: Paintings, Drawings, Collages & Photographs, San Francisco, CA: Modernism, 2006, p. 48 for a variant, there dated 1936

  • Catalogue Essay

    “Day and night I try in my studio......balancing between the extremes of the impossible, to shake loose the real from the unreal, to give visions body, to penetrate into unknown transparencies.”


    Erwin Blumenfeld’s photography is characterized by the use of obscure and unregulated darkroom techniques which loosely belong to and exceed the categories of: print solarisation, the layering of images, negative-positive combinations and also the crystallization of the negative dried through refrigeration. The immediate effect is unusual and disorientating as well as overwhelmingly sublime. This world that Blumenfeld creates has the ultimate objects of his desire and fantasy at its beating sensual heart; these being the contours of the woman, face and body. Through technique, the features; limbs, torso and facial features become fragmented, melted and illuminated by his ability to conjure light, the sparkle of which dances across the subject presenting us with a being of pure and enduring beauty.


Manina, Paris

Solarised gelatin silver print, printed 1949-1951.
49.3 x 39.5 cm (19 3/8 x 15 1/2 in.)
Estate stamp on the verso; titled, dated and annotated 'New York, 1949' in ink on the reverse of the frame.

£30,000 - 40,000 

Sold for £80,500

Contact Specialist
Lou Proud
Head of Sale
+ 44 207 318 4018


London 8 May 2014 4pm