Karl Blossfeldt

German, 1865-1932

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Karl Blossfeldt

German, 1865-1932

346
Followers
Biography

A teacher at the Royal Arts Museum in Berlin, Karl Blossfeldt became a celebrated photographer nearly overnight after the 1928 publication of his Urformen der Kunst (Art Forms in Nature), a photo catalogue filled with images of plants. Blossfeldt, who studied sculpture and iron casting but had no formal training in photography, built a camera to magnify his subjects. Arranged with stark, neutral backgrounds, his photographs of plant life reveal the architectural intricacies of tendrils, petals, and root hairs on flower stems. Urformen der Kunst was intended to be a pedagogic tool for German industrial and commercial designers, not a collection of avant-garde, modernist photographs, yet it led designers and artists alike to look at the natural world through a new lens.

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Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
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Solo show at a major institution
Whitechapel Gallery
group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 4 more
Instituion
Collected by a major institution
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
frieze
fair
Included in a major biennial
documenta, and 2 more
Biography

A teacher at the Royal Arts Museum in Berlin, Karl Blossfeldt became a celebrated photographer nearly overnight after the 1928 publication of his Urformen der Kunst (Art Forms in Nature), a photo catalogue filled with images of plants. Blossfeldt, who studied sculpture and iron casting but had no formal training in photography, built a camera to magnify his subjects. Arranged with stark, neutral backgrounds, his photographs of plant life reveal the architectural intricacies of tendrils, petals, and root hairs on flower stems. Urformen der Kunst was intended to be a pedagogic tool for German industrial and commercial designers, not a collection of avant-garde, modernist photographs, yet it led designers and artists alike to look at the natural world through a new lens.

Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
user
Solo show at a major institution
Whitechapel Gallery
group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 4 more
Instituion
Collected by a major institution
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
frieze
fair
Included in a major biennial
documenta, and 2 more
Articles Featuring Karl Blossfeldt
Natural Archetypes in Art: Karl Blossfeldt’s Influential Photographs
Nov 7th, 2014
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