May 24 – 30, 2008
OTTO ZOO gallery presents a selection of Lillian Bassman and Paul Himmel photographs.
This couple created history in American photography for their fashion images and their reportages in the 1940’s, 50’s and 60’s.They were protégés and then collaborators of Alexey Brodovitch, the prestigious Harper’s Bazaar’s art director from 1938 to 1958. They share a strong style and an aversion to the commercial image rules. They prematurely gave up with public photography: in ‘69 Paul and a few years later Lillian.
Himmel became a psychotherapist. Bassman went on taking private and experimental pictures. Twenty years later, in the 1990’s, both at 80 years old, they regained success and fame – also thanks to a bag of negative found in their apartment by chance. They are being internationally celebrated as two renowned masters of photography. In the fashion images and reportages, we found their most powerful signature.
In Milan, the exhibition is a selection of Bassman’s fashion pictures and Himmel’s reportages of the New York of the 1930’s and 40’s.
Bassman is a rari ed aesthete. She created evocative, moody, pictorial black and whites, Like an image wizard she worked in the dark room carefully burning in on certain areas or bleaching sections of the photography.
Himmel is more immediate, crude, essential. He is considered an expert of movement in photography. Brodovitch used to say: “Of all my protégés, he was the one who best understood what I meant about movement”.
Beside these artworks, OTTO ZOO presents some abstract and romantic still-lifes shot by their daughter Lizzie and nephew Nicholas. The artistic vein is vital and bursting in the Bassman/Himmel family.