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"I first met Fred STEIN when we were both refugees fighting the totalitarian Nazi regime through the rather poor means we had. In his time he was very much in the avantgarde, a brilliant photographer inspired by his quest for justice and his concern for truth so clearly reflected in his photographs." (Willy Brandt, 1983) "Fred STEIN (1909, Dresden – 1967, New York) was a master of the art of street photography.
As an early pioneer of the hand-held camera, he captured poignant moments in the street life of two of the world’s great cities: Paris and New York where he lived after fleeing from Nazi Germany.
This same immediacy infuses his penetrating portraits of the great personalities of the era, among them Albert Einstein, Georgia O’Keeffe, Marc Chagall, or the portraits of Gerda TARO & Robert CAPA, recovered in the legendary 'Mexican Suitcase'.
Fred STEIN’s images are a vital document of the 20th century and an important part of photo history." (publisher's note, © Kehrer verlag, 2013)
"Virtuoso of the Leica, Fred STEIN is a largely unsung master of a generation of photographers whose talents were swept across Europe by the dark geopolitical events of the 1930s and 1940s, only to land in the safe haven of New York.
Captured with verve and wit, an eye for the poignant as well as the surprising, STEIN's images of the urban life and iconic portraits of the luminaries of the 20th century are ripe for rediscovery.
With a selection of vintage prints spanning over three decades, 'Fred Stein. Paris. New York' will introduce 21st century audiences to the range of the photographer's work.
About the photographer, Fred STEIN (1909-1967):
Born in Dresden, STEIN and his wife immigrated to Paris in 1933 under the pressure of increasingly untenable conditions in Germany and his being unable to pursue his career as a lawyer. It was in the French capital that STEIN realized his vocation as a photographer.
Taking to the streets of Paris with a Leica that the couple bought for each other as a joint wedding present, STEIN made images steeped in the poetry of the city - every bit the equal of his contemporaries Henri CARTIER-BRESSON, Ilse BING, and André KERTÉSZ.
Whether depicting a lonely figure along the quays of the Seine or the abstract plays of light on a cobblestoned intersection filtered through the 'new vision' of the era, the photographs from the 1930s show how sensitively attuned STEIN was to the rhythms of the metropolis. Displaying both the isolation of those down on their luck as well as moments of spontaneous warmth and community, STEIN's humanistic outlook found initial expression in the intellectually rich milieu of pre-war France.
Such inclinations would go on to serve STEIN well in New York, where his talents as a documentarian found a place with the Photo League.
Having escaped an internment camp for enemy aliens in wartime France and miraculously reuniting with his family in Marseille, in 1941 STEIN found passage on a steamer bound for the United States.
There he built a successful studio practice specializing in portraiture, while also continuing his independent work in the streets of the city. STEIN's characteristic humor and sympathy manifested in photos infused with an increasingly sophisticated approach to the atmospherics of lighting and tonality. As befits a professional portraitist, Stein relentlessly sought to the capture the human face of his time.
The photographs of Fred STEIN were extensively published in the illustrated magazines, newspapers, and books of his time.
This is the first solo exhibition of STEIN's work at Robert Mann Gallery since the gallery began representing the estate last year." (source: https://likeyou.com/en/node/32293)
"Fred STEIN (1909 in Dresden, 1967 in New York) war ein Meister der Straßenfotografie. Als Pionier mit der Handkamera hielt er treffsicher Momente des täglichen Lebens in den Straßen der Großstadt fest. Sie entstanden, nachdem Stein 1933 aus Nazi-Deutschland nach Paris und später nach New York emigrierte.
Die gleiche Unmittelbarkeit zeichnet auch seine eindringlichen fotografischen Porträts großer Persönlichkeiten der Zeit aus, wie Albert Einstein, Georgia O'Keeffe, Marc Chagall oder das Doppelportrait von Gerda TARO & Robert CAPA, wiederentdeckt im legendären 'Mexican Suitcase'.
Fred STEINs Fotografien sind ein essenzielles Dokument der Geschichte des 20.Jahrhunderts und ein wichtiger Bestandteil der Fotogeschichte.
Fred STEINs Arbeiten sind in zahlreichen Sammlungen vertreten, z.B. im Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington; International Center of Photography, New York; National Portrait Gallery, Washington; The Center for Creative Photography, Tucson; Musee Carnavalet, Paris; Jewish Museum, New York.
STEIN hinterließ ein vielschichtiges und umfangreiches Werk, das hier erstmals in einer umfassenden Publikation vorliegt." (Verlagstext, © Kehrer Verlag, 2013)