Berenice Abbott

American, 1898–1991

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Berenice Abbott

American, 1898–1991

1,556
Followers
Biography

Berenice Abbott is best known for her striking, black-and-white photographs of New York City buildings, which she photographed as though taking portraits. In the 1920s she served as a darkroom assistant to Man Ray in Paris (she had modeled for him earlier in New York), where she encountered such leading cultural voices of the day as James Joyce, Max Ernst, and Edna St. Vincent Millay. She found inspiration in the Parisian streetscapes of Eugène Atget, an influence that would carry into “Changing New York” (1935-38), her major body of work for the Works Progress Administration/Federal Art Project. She strove to create objective photographs that stood on their own merit, rather than referencing other art forms. “Photography can never grow up if it imitates some other medium,” she said. “It has to walk alone; it has to be itself.”

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Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Established
Established representation
Represented by industry leading galleries.
User
Solo show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 4 more
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 11 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Tate, and 3 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 2 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
documenta, and 1 more
Biography

Berenice Abbott is best known for her striking, black-and-white photographs of New York City buildings, which she photographed as though taking portraits. In the 1920s she served as a darkroom assistant to Man Ray in Paris (she had modeled for him earlier in New York), where she encountered such leading cultural voices of the day as James Joyce, Max Ernst, and Edna St. Vincent Millay. She found inspiration in the Parisian streetscapes of Eugène Atget, an influence that would carry into “Changing New York” (1935-38), her major body of work for the Works Progress Administration/Federal Art Project. She strove to create objective photographs that stood on their own merit, rather than referencing other art forms. “Photography can never grow up if it imitates some other medium,” she said. “It has to walk alone; it has to be itself.”

Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Established
Established representation
Represented by industry leading galleries.
User
Solo show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 4 more
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 11 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Tate, and 3 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 2 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
documenta, and 1 more
Articles Featuring Berenice Abbott
The Bible of Street Photography Was Just Updated for the First Time in 20 Years
Oct 30th, 2017
10 Photographers Who Captured the Romance of Paris, from Brassaï to Cartier-Bresson
Mar 21st, 2016
10 Photographers Who Captured the Soul of New York City
Oct 10th, 2015
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