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Louise Dahl-Wolfe
Louise Dahl-Wolfe

Louise Dahl-Wolfe

Country: United States
Birth: 1895 | Death: 1989

Louise Dahl-Wolfe was an American photographer. She is known primarily for her work for Harper's Bazaar, in association with fashion editor Diana Vreeland. Louise Emma Augusta Dahl was born November 19, 1895 in San Francisco, California to Norwegian immigrant parents; she was the youngest of three daughters. In 1914, she began her studies at the California School of Fine Arts (now the San Francisco Institute of Art), where she studied design and color with Rudolph Schaeffer, and painting with Frank Van Sloan. She took courses in life drawing, anatomy, figure composition and other subjects over the next six years.

After graduating, Dahl-Wolfe worked in designing electric signs and interiors. In 1921, Dahl-Wolfe met with photographer Anne Brigman, who inspired her to take up photography. Her first dark-room enlarger was a makeshift one she built herself, which used a tin can, an apple crate, and a part of a Ghirardelli chocolate box for a reflector. She studied design, decoration and architecture at Columbia University, New York in 1923.

From 1927 to 1928, Dahl-Wolfe traveled with photographer Consuelo Kanaga, who furthered her interest in photography. Her first published photograph, titled Tennessee Mountain Woman, was published in Vanity Fair (U.S. magazine 1913–36). In 1928 she married the sculptor Meyer Wolfe, who constructed the backgrounds of many of her photos.

Dahl-Wolfe was known for taking photographs outdoors, with natural light in distant locations from South America to Africa in what became known as "environmental" fashion photography. Compared to other photographers at the time who were using red undertones, Dahl-Wolfe opted for cooler hues and also corrected her own proofs, with one example of her pulling proofs repeatedly to change a sofa's color from green to a dark magenta.

She preferred portraiture to fashion photography. Notable portraits include: Mae West, Cecil Beaton, Eudora Welty, W. H. Auden, Christopher Isherwood, Orson Welles, Carson McCullers, Edward Hopper, Colette and Josephine Baker. She is known for her role in the discovery of a teenage Lauren Bacall whom she photographed for the March 1943 cover of Harper's Bazaar. One of her favorite subjects was the model Mary Jane Russell, who is estimated to have appeared in about thirty percent of Dahl-Wolfe's photographs. She was a great influence on photographers Irving Penn and Richard Avedon. One of her assistants was fashion and celebrity photographer, Milton H. Greene.

From 1933 to 1960, Dahl-Wolfe operated a New York City photographic studio that was home to the freelance advertising and fashion work she made for stores including Bonwit Teller and Saks Fifth Avenue. From 1936 to 1958 Dahl-Wolfe was a staff fashion photographer at Harper’s Bazaar. She produced portrait and fashion photographs totaling 86 covers, 600 color pages and countless black-and-white shots. She worked with editor Carmel Snow, art director Alexey Brodovitch and fashion editor Diana Vreeland, and traveled widely. In 1950, she was selected for "America's Outstanding Woman Photographers" in the September issue of Foto. From 1958 until her retirement in 1960, Dahl-Wolfe worked as a freelance photographer for Vogue, Sports Illustrated, and other periodicals.

Louise Dalhl-Wolfe lived many of her later years in Nashville, Tennessee. She died in New Jersey of pneumonia in 1989. The full archive of Dahl-Wolfe's work is located at the Center for Creative Photography (CCP) at the University of Arizona in Tucson, which also manages the copyright of her work.

In 1999, her work was the subject of a documentary film entitled Louise Dahl-Wolfe: Painting with Light. The film featured the only surviving modern footage of Dahl-Wolfe, including extensive interviews. It was written and directed by Tom Neff, edited by Barry Rubinow and produced by Neff and Madeline Bell.

Source: Wikipedia


Born in Alameda, California, Dahl-Wolfe studied at the San Francisco Institute of Art. In 1921, while working as a sign painter, she discovered the photographs of Anne Brigman, a Pictorialist based in California and associated with the Stieglitz circle in New York. Although greatly impressed by Brigman's work, Dahl-Wolfe did not take up photography herself until the early 1930s. Travel with the photographer Consuelo Kanaga in Europe in 1927-28 piqued her interest in photography once again.

In 1932, when she was living with her husband near the Great Smoky Mountains, she made her first published photograph, Tennessee Mountain Woman. After it was published in Vanity Fair in 1933, she moved to New York City and opened a photography studio, which she maintained until 1960. After a few years producing advertising and fashion photographs for Woman's Home Companion, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Bonwit Teller, she was hired by Carmel Snow as a staff fashion photographer for Harper's Bazaar in 1936. Dahl-Wolfe remained with the magazine until 1958, after which time she accepted freelance assignments from Vogue and Sports Illustrated until her retirement in 1960.

Dahl-Wolfe was especially well-known during the infancy of color fashion photography for her exacting standards in reproducing her images. Her insistence on precision in the color transparencies made from her negatives resulted in stunning prints whose subtle hues and unusual gradations in color set the standard for elegance in the 1940s and 1950s. In addition, she pioneered the active yet sophisticated image of the "New Woman" through her incorporation of art historical themes and concepts into her photographs.

Source: International Center of Photography


"I believe that the camera is a medium of light, that one actually paints with light. In using the spotlights with reflecting lights, I could control the quality of the forms revealed to build a composition. Photography, to my mind, is not a fine art. It is splendid for recording a period of time, but it has definite limitations, and the photographer certainly hasn't the freedom of the painter. One can work with taste and emotion and create an exciting arrangement of significant form, a meaningful photograph, but a painter has the advantage of putting something in the picture that isn't there or taking something out that is there. I think this makes painting a more creative medium." — Louise Dahl-Wolf, 1984

Dahl-Wolfe preferred portraiture to fashion work, and while at Harper's she photographed cultural icons and celebrities including filmmaker Orson Wells, writer Carson McCullers, designer Christian Dior, photographer Cecil Beaton, writer Colette, and broadcast journalist Edward R. Murrow. In addition to her Harper's responsibilities, Dahl-Wolfe was able to pursue her own vision in the studio and sometimes even while on assignment. For example, she asked a model to pose for the unpublished Nude in the Desert while on location in California's Mojave Desert shooting swimsuits that would appear in the May 1948 edition of Harper's.

From 1958 until her retirement in 1960, Dahl-Wolfe worked as a freelance photographer for Vogue, Sports Illustrated, and other periodicals. Major exhibitions of her work include Women of Photography: An Historical Survey at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; The History of Fashion Photography and Recollections: Ten Women of Photography at International Museum of Photography, George Eastman House, Rochester, New York; and Portraits at the Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona, Tucson. Retrospectives include shows at Grey Art Gallery, New York University; Cheekwood Fine Arts Center, Nashville, Tennessee; and Louise Dahl-Wolfe: A Ninetieth Birthday Salute at the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago. Louise Dalh-Wolfe lived many of her later years in Nashville, Tennessee, though she died in New Jersey of pneumonia in 1989.

Source: International Center of Photography


 

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Martine Franck
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Franck was born in Antwerp to the Belgian banker Louis Franck and his British wife, Evelyn. After her birth the family moved almost immediately to London. A year later, her father joined the British army, and the rest of the family were evacuated to the United States, spending the remainder of the Second World War on Long Island and in Arizona. Franck's father was an amateur art collector who often took his daughter to galleries and museums. Franck was in boarding school from the age of six onwards, and her mother sent her a postcard every day, frequently of paintings. Ms. Franck, attended Heathfield School, an all-girls boarding school close to Ascot in England, and studied the history of art from the age of 14. "I had a wonderful teacher who really galvanized me," she says. "In those days she took us on outings to London, which was the big excitement of the year for me." Franck studied art history at the University of Madrid and at the Ecole du Louvre in Paris. After struggling through her thesis (on French sculptor Henri Gaudier-Brzeska and the influence of cubism on sculpture), she said she realized she had no particular talent for writing, and turned to photography instead. In 1963, Franck's photography career started following trips to the Far East, having taken pictures with her cousin’s Leica camera. Returning to France in 1964, now possessing a camera of her own, Franck became an assistant to photographers Eliot Elisofon and Gjon Mili at Time-Life. By 1969 she was a busy freelance photographer for magazines such as Vogue, Life and Sports Illustrated, and the official photographer of the Théâtre du Soleil (a position she held for 48 years). From 1970 to 1971 she worked in Paris at the Agence Vu photo agency, and in 1972 she co-founded the Viva agency. In 1980, Franck joined the Magnum Photos cooperative agency as a "nominee", and in 1983 she became a full member. She was one of a very small number of women to be accepted into the agency. In 1983, she completed a project for the now-defunct French Ministry of Women's Rights and in 1985 she began collaborating with the non-profit International Federation of Little Brothers of the Poor. In 1993, she first traveled to the Irish island of Tory where she documented the tiny Gaelic community living there. She also traveled to Tibet and Nepal, and with the help of Marilyn Silverstone photographed the education system of the Tibetan Tulkus monks. In 2003 and 2004 she returned to Paris to document the work of theater director Robert Wilson who was staging La Fontaine's fables at the Comédie Française. Nine books of Franck's photographs have been published, and in 2005 Franck was made a chevalier of the French Légion d'Honneur. Franck continued working even after she was diagnosed with bone cancer in 2010. Her last exhibition was in October 2011 at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie. The exhibit consisted of 62 portraits of artists "coming from somewhere else" collected from 1965 through 2010. This same year, there were collections of portraits shown at New York's Howard Greenberg Gallery and at the Claude Bernard Gallery, Paris. Franck was well known for her documentary-style photographs of important cultural figures such as the painter Marc Chagall, philosopher Michel Foucault and poet Seamus Heaney, and of remote or marginalized communities such as Tibetan Buddhist monks, elderly French people, and isolated Gaelic speakers. Michael Pritchard, the Director-General of the Royal Photographic Society, observed: "Martine was able to work with her subjects and bring out their emotions and record their expressions on film, helping the viewer understand what she had seen in person. Her images were always empathetic with her subject." In 1976, Frank took one of her most iconic photos of bathers beside a pool in Le Brusc, Provence. By her account, she saw them from a distance and rushed to photograph the moment, all the while changing the roll of film in her camera. She quickly closed the lens just at the right moment, when happened to be most intense. She cited as influences the portraits of British photographer Julia Margaret Cameron, the work of American photojournalist Dorothea Lange and American documentary photographer Margaret Bourke-White. In 2010, she told The New York Times that photography "suits my curiosity about people and human situations." She worked outside the studio, using a 35 mm Leica camera, and preferring black and white film. The British Royal Photographic Society has described her work as "firmly rooted in the tradition of French humanist documentary photography." Source: Wikipedia Born in Belgium, Martine Franck (1938-2012) grew up in the United States and in England. She studied art history at the University of Madrid and at the École du Louvre in Paris. In 1963, she went to China, taking her cousin's Leica camera with her, and discovered the joys of documenting other cultures. Returning home via Hong Kong, Cambodia, India, Afghanistan and Turkey, and bought her first camera while on the trip. Returning to France, she worked as a photographic assistant at Time-Life where she developed her own technique. In 1966, Franck met Henri Cartier-Bresson, whose photographs epitomized Magnum's tradition of humanitarian photography. Franck was adamant that she would neither bask in his reflection nor disappear in his shadow and she joined the Vu agency in 1970. Her first solo exhibition was planned for the ICA in London that year; when she saw that the invitations were embossed with the information that her husband would be present at the launch, she cancelled the show. With Vu's demise, Franck co-founded the Viva agency in 1972. It also collapsed and it was not until 1980 that Franck joined Magnum, becoming a full member in 1983. She was one of the few women to be accepted into the agency and served as vice-president from 1998 to 2000. Eschewing the war/human tragedy reportage that characterized Magnum's reputation, Franck continued her projects on marginal or isolated lives throughout the rest of her life. Source: Howard Greenberg Gallery
Patrick Wack
France
1979
Patrick Wack was born in Cannes in 1979 and grew up in the Paris suburbs. A former top sportsman, he has a degree in foreign languages and a diploma from the Ecole Supérieure de Commerce de Paris. His studies took him to the United States, Sweden and Germany. A self-taught photographer, he left Berlin in 2006 for China with the ambition of documenting its emergence, and the hope of living a life off the beaten track. He was based in Shanghai for eleven years as a freelance photographer alternating between commissions for the international press and institutional clients. He also worked on long-term documentary projects on themes important to the understanding of our times. These include urban change and forced modernisation in China, the Tibetan question, inter-ethnic tensions in the Balkans and the 'pioneering front' of the New Silk Road in its aesthetic, social and political dimensions. After eleven years in China, he now divides his time between Europe, China and Russia. His reports have been published in Time magazine, The Sunday Times, Géo, The British Journal of Photography and Courrier International, among others. He is one of the co-founders of the photographic cooperative Inland. DUST Dust, a monographic book by photographer Patrick Wack on the Uyghur communities. The monograph DUST gathers four years of work by French photographer Patrick Wack shot in the areas of Central Asia known as East Turkistan or Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region under the current Chinese administration. In recent years, the region has been at the centre of an international outcry following the mass-incarceration of its Uyghur population and other Muslim minorities. This body of work captures a visual narrative of the region and is a testimony to its abrupt descent into an Orwellian dystopia. In 2016 and 2017, Wack spent more than two months in Xinjiang photographing Out West, his first long-term project about the region. He decided to return in 2018, upon reading reports of the mass arbitrary detention system being set up there. In 2019, he travelled to Xinjiang on two separate occasions for another project, The Night Is Thick. This second reportage aimed at documenting life under acute repression among the Uyghur minority alongside the disturbing simultaneous increase of Han-Chinese tourism in the region. These images have been widely published and exhibited over the past four years, illustrating the situation in the region, and have received numerous accolades. Recent events in Xinjiang are now considered some of the most severe crimes against humanity currently unfolding in the world and this project is possibly the most complete photographic documentation of the region in recent years. Find out more about DUST
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Olivera Stegmann is a Swiss photographer and also the winner of AAP Magazine #16 Shadows with his project 'Circus Noir'. We asked him a few questions about his life and work.
Exclusive Interview with Francesco Gioia
Francesco Gioia is an Italian photographer who lives in England. He is the winner of AAP Magazine 15 Streets with his project 'Wake Up in London'. We asked him a few questions about his life and work
Call for Entries
Solo Exhibition November 2021
Win an Onine Solo Exhibition in November 2021