close cart

Your cart

YOU ARE CURRENTLY ON THE SITE FOR
United States

Selecting your country will allow 28 Vignon Street to offer you services adapted to your location.

Choose your country

Choose your currency

Choose your language

28 Vignon Street
Artist

Lillian Bassman

USA, 1917 - 2012
Lillian Bassman was a photographer, art director and painter who is best known for her work in fashion. After gaining experience as a textile designer and fashion illustrator, Bassman started as an art director for the magazine Harper’s Bazaar under the direction of Alexey Brodovitch. In this function, Bassman promoted the careers of Richard Avedon, Robert Frank, and her husband Paul Himmel.

Bassman’s photographic work is characterized by black-and-white portraits of graceful and elegant women, often society women, actresses, and models, like Barbara Mullen, who was her muse. Through experiments and manipulations in the darkroom, like cropping, toning and blurring the negative with tissues, Bassman transformed her images in order to provide them with a unique mysterious, poetic and glamorous feel.

This artistic approach was unique and groundbreaking at the time and very successful, moreover. From the 1940s until the 1960s, Bassman’s photographs appeared in Harper’s Bazaar on a regular basis. In the early 1970s she changed direction to meet the changing taste of the time, throwing away many of her negatives. Later on she started making use of digital technologies for her photo manipulations, but still with a strong stylistic emphasis on the contrast between light and dark, the graininess of the images and the geometric placement of her subjects. Interest in her work for Harper’s Bazaar was renewed in the 1990s. Bassman was already in her 70s then, when some of these photos thought lost were rediscovered in the magazine’s archive.

Share this artist

Share this artist on your preferred social media

Related artists

Harri Peccinotti
William Klein
Ellen von Unwerth