Lillian Bassman - Photographs New York Monday, April 4, 2016 | Phillips
  • Provenance

    Peter Fetterman Gallery, Santa Monica

  • Literature

    Solomon, Lillian Bassman: Women, p. 127, variant

  • Catalogue Essay

    Lillian Bassman’s stunning fashion photographs evoke a timeless elegance that combines her brilliant sense of the photographic frame with the delicate sweep of a painter’s brush. Under the tutelage of Alexey Brodovitch, the legendary art director, her photographs graced the pages of Harper’s Bazaar and Seventeen in the 1940s and 1950s. Bassman’s mastery of the darkroom helped her define an aesthetic that would set her apart from her contemporaries Richard Avedon and Irving Penn. Using her negatives as a mere starting point, she would then blur, bleach and stain her prints in an effort to realize her full vision. The result, as we see here in her most celebrated work Across the Restaurant, Barbara Mullen, dress by Jacques Fath, Le Grand Vefour, Paris, 1949, are striking images that hover somewhere between a photograph and a painting.


Blowing Kiss, Barbara Mullen, New York

circa 1958
Gelatin silver print, printed later.
18 x 18 in. (45.7 x 45.7 cm)
Signed and numbered 21/25 in pencil on the verso.

$6,000 - 8,000 

Sold for $20,000

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New York Auction 4 April 2016