el sabroso oficio / del dulce mirar Góngora – ¡Qué difícil es entender la belleza! Günter Eich

sábado, 30 de julio de 2016

Herbert Matter y su musa Mercedes

Matter, Herbert (1907 - 1984)

After having studied art in Geneva and Paris, Herbert Matter collaborates with the graphic designer, Cassandre and the architect, Le Corbusier. In 1936, he settles in New York where he works for Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue, as a photographer, and as a graphic designer for such design brands as Knoll for whom he creates a logo, recognized as a strong member of America’s advertising business to which he brings his sharp photomontage and typography mastership. Alongside his professional projects, Herbert Matter pursues a personal body of photography work, sharing a darkroom with Robert Frank. Privileging his wife Mercedes Carles as a muse, he explores the nude genre in a surrealist manner inspired by the avant-garde he had encountered in Paris. Mercedes Carles becomes the central subject of organic photographs that play with nature and the wind, often in beach surroundings that make his wife ressemble a fantasy sea creature. Other images reveal his innovative use of light as he uses a penlight just as a paintbrush to draw on photo paper in the darkroom, giving birth to abstract dynamic pictures influenced by Lazlo Moholo-Nagy’s geometric style and Jackson Pollock’s feverish drippings. Yet, what probably strikes the most are his portraits of the wet-haired swimmer: there’s something terribly contemporary in the close-up, the girl’s attitude and the drenched hair: an allure most contemporary fashion designers would praise.

The Red List

Las palabras siguientes aparecieron en el catálogo de una exposición en Nueva York en 2013, "Herbert Matter - Mercedes, 1940":

Higher Pictures presents Mercedes 1940, by Herbert Matter. This is the first New York solo exhibition of Herbert Matter in over a decade.

The exhibition consists of eleven vintage silver gelatin photographs of Mercedes Carles by Herbert Matter, made in the summer before they married. Matter’s intimate portraits of Mercedes are the visual results of a thrilling act by an artist and lover, a dance of seduction with the camera, Mercedes’ energy and allure. Introduced in 1938 by Fernand Léger, the pair became one of the most powerful and influential art world couples of the 20th century. Throughout their sixty-year marriage, their close friends and associates included Jackson Pollock, Franz Kline, Willem de Kooning, Fernand Léger, Alexander Calder, Alberto Giacometti, Charles and Ray Eames, Buckminster Fuller and fellow Swiss photographer Robert Frank.

A pioneering figure in photography, Herbert Matter came to the United States in 1935. Matter was inspired by the Russian Constructivists and Man Ray. It is noted that his light drawings anticipated Abstract Expressionism and indeed may have influenced his friend Jackson Pollock. He employed all manner of darkroom techniques to create his photographs, including collage, montage, solarization, reverse printing, retouching, cropping, and re-photographing.

Reticent but much respected, the Swiss-born New York photographer Herbert Matter (1907-1984) was the rare figure who bridged the commercial arts and fine arts. His wife, Mercedes Matter (1913–2001), the painter, muse and New York School maven was born into the art world. Her mother was Mercedes de Cordoba, who modeled for Edward Steichen and other members of the Photo-Secession; her father was the early American modernist painter Arthur B. Carles.


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