Bill Brandt

Nudes and Vintage Work

June 25 – August 20, 2005

Press Release

BILL BRANDT
Nudes and Vintage Work

June 25 through August 20, 2005
Opening Reception, Saturday, June 25, 2 - 5 p.m.

The Fahey/Klein Gallery is pleased to present work by internationally recognized photographer Bill Brandt. Brandt began his career by setting out to record the harsh disparity between 1930's British high society and its working class. He photographed diverse subject matter including bleak photojournalistic portraits, city scenes and landscapes, as well as nudes. Brandt combined elements of documentary photography and surrealism to create a style uniquely his own. In 1945, he began photographing the nude using a wide-angle lens. The lens, as Brandt explains, allowed him "to be rid of the accepted image and view his subjects without the cellophane-wrapping of conventional sight." The exaggerated perspectives he yields not only stresses the ambiguity of the space in which he sets the figure, but transforms the body into highly abstracted shapes.

Brandt refers to his early nudes as "experimental interiors." He was fascinated by the exaggerated perspective and space created by the wide-angle lens. The high contrast lighting of the "interiors" create a menacing, yet dramatic atmosphere. When Brandt photographs outside, he takes his nudes to a whole new level wherein body and earth blend into one, fingers become stone and limbs are in unison with the landscape.

Brandt believed that it was the photographer's duty to "see more intensely than most people." To him, the camera was an extension of his vision allowing him to see beyond the external appearances of his subjects. In his portrait work, he tried to decode the mysteries concealed behind the face. From here, Brandt began to zoom in on only the eye of the sitter reducing the face to its "essential element."

Bill Brandt's works have exhibited worldwide and are part of the collections of London's Victoria and Albert Museum, New York's MoMA, Rochester's International Museum of Photography, and Paris' Bibliotheque Nationale. Brandt died in December 1983 and his ashes were scattered in Holland Park in London where he visited almost everyday.

The exhibition will feature a selection of carbon pigment prints of Brandt's most iconic nudes as well as a series of eye portraits of famous artists. A selection of rare vintage prints will also be on view.

Press images are available by request.

Gallery Hours - Tuesday to Saturday, 10 am to 6 pm.