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Karl Blossfeldt: Masterworks
Edited by Ann Wilde, Jürgen Wilde. Foreword and text by Hansjörg Küster.
Through Blossfeldt's lens, plants and flowers become gorgeous formal gestures
Karl Blossfeldt was a pioneer of botanical photography, though his interest in the plant world was initially educational. Fascinated by the structure of plants, whose seemingly artistic forms resulted from biological necessity, he realized that photography could be a useful teaching tool, allowing his students to see and compare natural forms. Working with a homemade camera, Blossfeldt gathered and photographed his own plant samples, magnifying them by up to 45 times. From around 1898 onward, he shot some 6,000 images, which he used primarily as visual aids in his classes.
Eventually published as Art Forms in Nature (1928) and Art Forms in Nature, Second Series (1932), Blossfeldt’s photographs had a lasting impact on the art of his day and were enthusiastically embraced by both the Surrealist and New Objectivity movements. His books brought him overnight fame and are still considered landmarks in the history of art and photography. Karl Blossfeldt: Masterworks presents a remarkable collection of Blossfeldt’s strikingly austere yet poetic portraits of plants, which capture their timeless beauty in intimate detail.
Karl Blossfeldt (1865–1932) was a photographer, sculptor, teacher and artist who worked in Berlin. Blossfeldt had no formal photographic training, but was singled out by Walter Benjamin in his “Little History of Photography” for the way his plant photography could reveal something present in the natural world not normally visible to the naked eye, helping to usher in a new, distinctively photographic way of seeing.
Featured image is reproduced from 'Karl Blossfeldt: Masterworks.'
PRAISE AND REVIEWS
Masterworks... explores how his images provoke us to draw connections with the natural world, and reveals his traditional darkroom techniques. Sure to inspire fans of botany and photography alike
PDN Photo of the Day
More than 100 years after many of the images were made, they’re still compelling.
The chosen "masterworks" in the book showcase his eye for overlooked details in nature… [and] remain compelling examples of looking closely at the world around us.
Fast Co Design
Blossfeldt’s photographs seem to give biological forms an architectural, or sculptural quality. They showcase the artistic and architectural qualities of plants that came out of biological necessity.
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FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG
ANNA SKRABACZ | DATE 3/24/2017
The flora in Karl Blossfeldt: Masterworks do not scream "botanical photography." Instead the plants appear to be composed in another medium entirely—maybe iron sculpture or illustration. This visual play may be attributed to the fact that Blossfeldt (1865–1932)—who is now best remembered as a photographer—was actually, primarily, a sculptor. His photographs of plants were originally made as teaching tools, visual references for his students at a Berlin art school in the early 1900s. As a self-taught photographer, Blossfeldt brought an air of innocence and experimentation to the photographs. With a sculptor's eye for gesture and an inherent fascination with patterns in nature, he created a highly original way of photographing plants.
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FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 4/1/2018
The botanical photographs of nineteenth-century sculptor and teacher Karl Blossfeldt are magical. Produced for his students with a camera modified to magnify up to 45 times larger than life size, these close-up photographs reveal details normally hidden to the human eye -- to the point that they almost become abstract. Featured here is an undated photograph of Allium ostrowskianum, or Dutch Hyacinth, magnified 6 times. It is one of 70 duotone images in this exquisitely produced, oversized monograph perfect for lovers of photography, horticulture and illustrated books. continue to blog
LARS MüLLER PUBLISHERS
USD $50.00 | CAN $70
Pub Date: 2/2/2021
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USD $55.00 | CAN $72.5
Pub Date: 3/28/2017
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