At 9pm on Sunday night BBC4 debuted an hour long film about the photographer Erwin Blumenfeld; it’s still available on iPlayer if you missed it. The Twitter rush for the duration of the programme and indeed the following day, should be reason enough to hit the play button, but don’t just take our word for it.
Noted by those who know his work as one of the most influential photographers of the 20th century, those unaware-of his name at least-will have no doubt witnessed the affect of Blumenfeld through the internet (be it first hand or through someone he inspired). Now Somerset House is playing home to a major exhibition of his work, the main event to BBC4’s starter if you will.
‘Blumenfeld Studio: New York 1941-1960’ opens today through to September in the East Wing Galleries and was curated by Nadia Blumenfeld, the photographer's granddaughter. Visitors will witness works from the latter part of Blumenfeld’s career spent in the city working from a Central Park studio, a time which saw him work in-house at Harper’s Bazaar before going on to freelance for Vogue and work on a series less commercial led projects.
During this time Erwin sampled a range of techniques and styles such as photomontage, solarisation and colour slides, producing work which offered a new creative tone to what was then the norm. As well as stills Blumenfeld’s time in New York saw him try his hand at making short films, a sample of which SHOWstudio now host.