Skip to Main Content

Gjon Mili

Albanian-American, 1904–1984

143 followers

Gjon Mili

Bio

Albanian-American, 1904–1984

Followers
143
Biography

Best known for the photography he published in LIFE magazine, Gjon Mili pioneered the use of stroboscopic instruments to capture a sequence of actions in one photograph. Mili trained as an engineer and worked closely with the renowned MIT researcher and inventor Harold Edgerton to develop the innovative stop-action technique. For LIFE, Mili photographed events, artworks, and architecture, as well as celebrities and artists, including Pablo Picasso. The iconic Spanish painter and sculptor took interest in Mili’s technical innovations and agreed to sit for several portrait sessions. Mili revisited Picasso many times over the years, documenting his artwork and capturing the artist in candid images. Mili is also noted for directing the short film Jammin’ the Blues (1944), which featured performances by Lester Young and Red Callender, among other performers, sharply lit against a black backdrop, and which is considered a landmark in the way that musicians have been filmed. In the 1940s Mili served as assistant to the photographer Edward Weston.

Related Categories
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 1 more
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 2 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Biography

Best known for the photography he published in LIFE magazine, Gjon Mili pioneered the use of stroboscopic instruments to capture a sequence of actions in one photograph. Mili trained as an engineer and worked closely with the renowned MIT researcher and inventor Harold Edgerton to develop the innovative stop-action technique. For LIFE, Mili photographed events, artworks, and architecture, as well as celebrities and artists, including Pablo Picasso. The iconic Spanish painter and sculptor took interest in Mili’s technical innovations and agreed to sit for several portrait sessions. Mili revisited Picasso many times over the years, documenting his artwork and capturing the artist in candid images. Mili is also noted for directing the short film Jammin’ the Blues (1944), which featured performances by Lester Young and Red Callender, among other performers, sharply lit against a black backdrop, and which is considered a landmark in the way that musicians have been filmed. In the 1940s Mili served as assistant to the photographer Edward Weston.

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 1 more
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 2 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)