Von Lintel Gallery is pleased to present a selection of “photogenics” by artist Lotte Jacobi (1896 - 1990).
Jacobi was one of the earliest female photographers to use innovative techniques in photography and devote her later practice to her “photogenics,” commonly known as photograms.
"I was born to photography," Lotte Jacobi explained of her chosen medium. For three generations, the Jacobi family had a photography studio in Germany. Jacobi started her career at age twelve assisting her father in the darkroom and became one of the most successful portraitists in Berlin. She rejected the Nazi’s offer to grant her honorary Aryan status and fled to the United States. Nearly all of her early work was lost when she emigrated to the United States.
In 1935, Jacobi reestablished her studio in New York. By the 1950s, She began to make abstract images and landscapes which she referred to as “photogenics.” Her “photogenics” are camera-less photographs, in which pieces of glass or twisted cellophane were used to interrupt the beams from a flashlight positioned above a piece of photographic paper. She had taken the quality of light and movement she had perfected in her portraits and applied it to abstract forms derived from nature. Eventually she dedicated the remainder of her career to producing “photogenics.”
Lotte Jacobi was born in Thorn, Germany. Jacobi’s photographs are held in public collections including the Museum of Modern Art, the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Jewish Museum, and the International Center of Photography, amongst other prestigious museum collections.