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Herbert Matter (American/Swiss, 1907–1984)
LOT ID: 77154
Light Drawing, 1943

Silver Print, gelatin silver print
23 х 20 in. (58.42 x 50.8 cm.)
Stamped, verso
Lot description
Herbert Matter, Light Drawing, 1943. Vintage gelatin silver print, 23 x 20 inches (58.4 x 50.8 cm). Stamped.

This print was exhibited at the Pierre Matisse Gallery in 1943 at Matter's first solo exhibition of his photographs.

To create this image, Matter used a small flash light to draw the image on the back of a 4 x 5 negative by opening the back of the camera, then he photographed an image of 'open' space on the same negative. In the printing he doubled, solarized, reprinted and reverse printed various parts of the image to create multiple layers.

This image incorporates many of Matter's most striking techniques. Light Drawing reinforces the idea that Matter was creating the photographic equivalent of abstract expressionism. There's a sense of movement, action and rhythm.

Herbert Matter (1907-1984) was a Swiss-born American photographer and graphic designer known for his pioneering use of photomontage in commercial art. The designer's innovative and experimental work helped shape the vocabulary of 20th-century graphic design. As a photographer, Matter won acclaim for his purely visual approach. A master technician, he used every method available to achieve his vision of light, form and texture. Manipulation of the negative, retouching, cropping, enlarging and light drawing are some of the techniques he used to achieve the fresh, enigmatic form he sought in his still lifes, landscapes, nudes and portraits.
Light Drawing by Herbert Matter
  • Light Drawing by Herbert Matter
  • Light Drawing by Herbert Matter
  • Light Drawing by Herbert Matter
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