Erwin Blumenfeld

From Dada to Vogue

April 26 – August 5, 2018

Erwin Blumenfeld, Fantaisies Parisiennes, 1924-26

Collage, colour pencil on paper, mounted on magazine cover, 13 1/2 x 9 1/2 inches

Erwin Blumenfeld, The Jockey, 1919-25

Collage and India ink on paper, 8 1/2 x 6 1/2 inches

Erwin Blumenfeld, Solarised hands, Amsterdam, c. 1933

Solarised vintage silver gelatin print, 12 x 9 3/4 inches

Erwin Blumenfeld, In Hoc Signo Vinces, New York, 1967

Vintage silver gelatin print, 14 x 11 inches

Erwin Blumenfeld, Smile, New York, 1950

Vintage silver gelatin print, 13 1/2 x 10 1/2 inches

Erwin Blumenfeld, Fishnet Stocking Nude, New York, 1944-45

Vintage silver gelatin print, 18 1/2 x 16 inches

Erwin Blumenfeld, The Kaiser on Zandvoort Beach, 1930-32

Collage on photograph (silver gelatin print), 9 1/2 x 11 inches

Erwin Blumenfeld, Portrait, Amsteradm, c. 1932

Vintage silver gelatin print (positive and negative), 12 x 9 inches

Erwin Blumenfeld, Untitled, New York, 1942-43

Solarised vintage silver gelatin print, 14 x 11 inches

Erwin Blumenfeld, Kapitalist, 1923-24

Collage on card, 6 x 5 1/4 inches

Erwin Blumenfeld, Tara Twain, from Hollywood, My first American girl, Amsterdam, 1935

Vintage silver gelatin print, 11 x 8 inches

Erwin Blumenfeld, Madonna of War (Nun), Amsterdam, February 1923

India ink, pencil, watercolour and collage on paper, 11 1/2 x 9 inches

Erwin Blumenfeld, Violin Back, New York, 1943

Solarised vintage silver gelatin print, 13 x 10 1/4 inches

Erwin Blumenfeld, Brush Drawing, Amsterdam, c. 1920s

Ink on paper, 12 3/4 x 10 1/4 inches

Erwin Blumenfeld, Manina, Four Expressions, c. 1937

Vintage silver gelatin print, 11 x 7 3/4 inches

Erwin Blumenfeld, Portrait, Solarised and Cut, c. 1938

Vintage silver gelatin with solarisation and montage, 13 x 10 1/2 inches

Erwin Blumenfeld, Der Bandwurm (The Tapeworm) from Austria (Adolf Hitler), c. 1926

Collage on card

Erwin Blumenfeld, Grid on plaster, Paris, 1937

Vintage silver gelatin print, 11 3/4 x 9 1/2 inches

Erwin Blumenfeld, Untitled, New York, 1945-46

Vintage silver gelatin print, 18 1/2 x 16 inches

Erwin Blumenfeld, Untitled, New York, 1942-43

Solarised vintage silver gelatin print, 14 x 11 inches

Erwin Blumenfeld, Kurhaus Sellin (Sellin Sanatorium), 1919-24

Collage and India ink on paper, 10 x 8 1/2 inches

Erwin Blumenfeld, Solarised Model, New York, 1942

Solarised vintage silver gelatin print, 19 x 15 1/4 inches

Erwin Blumenfeld, Dada Dancers (Schule der Physik), 1924-1926

Collage on magazine page, 9 1/2 × 8 1/4 inches

Erwin Blumenfeld, Fashion Montage, New York, c. 1950

Vintage silver gelatin print, 14 x 11 inches

Erwin Blumenfeld, Nude, Paris, 1938

Solarised vintage silver gelatin print, 13 x 10 1/4 inches

Erwin Blumenfeld, Erwin Blumenfeld's Shadow amidst Dutch pines, The Netherlands, 1931

Vintage silver gelatin print, 15 3/4 x 12 inches

Corkin Gallery is pleased to present From Dada to Vogue, an exhibition of rare early collages and photographs by Erwin Blumenfeld.
 
As a young artist in interwar Europe, Blumenfeld was at the forefront of modernist image-making. His Dadaist collages, produced between 1919 and 1933, are variously sly, satirical and politically astute. Blumenfeld’s subversive spirit is evident as much in their content as in their form: with crayons, pastel, pen and ink; newspaper cutouts; cigarette wrappers; and even calling cards at this employ, the artist confronts the profound social upheaval of his moment.
 
In the early 1930s, Blumenfeld became increasingly involved with photography. His unconventional approach to the medium captured the attention of noted image-makers; a meeting with Cecil Beaton proved to be a turning point in his artistic career. “Here at last,” wrote Beaton, “is a fresh and clear mind…(Blumenfeld’s) pictures are not of Vogue quality, for they are much more serious, too provoking, and better than fashion.”
This experimental character defines the pivotal nature of Blumenfeld’s European output. Visceral and challenging, his early collages and photographs constitute a sobering exploration of the human spirit.
 
Previously unseen in Canada, the collages and photographs on view in From Dada to Vogue expand our understanding of Blumenfeld’s position in the history of Modernism. He was not only one of the last century’s most influential photographers; he was one of its great artists.
 
Erwin Blumenfeld (b. 1897, Berlin; d. 1969, Rome) brought a radical, avant-garde vision to his work in portraiture, nudes, fashion and advertising, redefining the potential of his medium. Until 1939, he worked in Berlin, Amsterdam and Paris, and was a key proponent of Dutch Dada. After two years in a French internment camp, Blumenfeld immigrated to New York. There, he shot fashion spreads and hundreds of covers for the Condé Nast family of publications, shaping the look of 1940s and ‘50s America.