Bill Brandt: Photographs 1928-1983

ISBN 13: 9780500277263

Bill Brandt: Photographs 1928-1983

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9780500277263: Bill Brandt: Photographs 1928-1983
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Bill Brandt's position as one of the greatest British photographers of the 20th century is incontestable. His name and achievement fit easily within the pantheon of international 'greats' of modern photography: Atget, Brassai, Kertdsz and Cartier-Bresson. Brandt's career began in 1920s Paris, when he was introduced by Ezra Pound to Man Ray, who took him on as an apprentice and who inspired the surrealistic vision characteristic of his early pictures. His first great work spanned a whole decade: an encyclopaedic study of the social conditions of Britain in the Thirties, culminating in two famous cycles, "The English at Home" (1936) and "A Night in London" (1938). In the Second World War and the years that followed Brandt expanded his range to include portraiture, landscape and nudes. Patiently delving after the uniqueness of every person or place - the sadness of Dylan Thomas, the bleakness of Wuthering Heights or the qualities of the female form - his vision conferred a timeless, mythic quality on both the notable and the ordinary. This retrospective review of Brandt's work, edited with an introduction by Ian Jeffrey, is published on the occasion of a major exhibition at the Barbican Art Gallery, London. Its six sections cover every aspect of his art, from the early sociological studies to the late nudes. Many celebrated images are included, but others have never been seen in book form before. Ian Jeffrey is the author of many books, including "Landscape" (1984) and "Photography: A Concise History" (1981), both published by Thames and Hudson.

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England's most interesting, most British photographer was German-born Bill Brandt. Widely traveled as a young man, Brandt resided in England after 1931, and the character of that country became his most constant theme. He pursued it through documentary work published first in magazines, then in such books as The English at Home (1936), A Night in London (1938), Camera in London (1948), and Literary Britain (1951). His nudes, produced later and published in Perspective of Nudes (1961), along with a group of landscapes of England, round out a body of work so dazzling and yet so puzzling that most interpreters fail to take it all into account. They emphasize either matters of social class and documentary photography or Brandt's powerful formal inventions (e.g., the starkness of contrast in his prints, using an antique wide-angle lens for the highly abstract nudes). Jeffrey suggests unifying artistic and psychoanalytic themes emerging from Brandt's childhood as subtexts in Brandt's documentary work (unfortunately, Jeffrey makes too many references to pictures not in the book). Gretchen Garner

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9780500541814: Bill Brandt: Photographs, 1928-83

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ISBN 10:  0500541817 ISBN 13:  9780500541814
Publisher: Thames & Hudson Ltd, 1993
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