everything old is new again and thanks for reminding us.
Florence Henri, Self-portrait, 1938
Florence Henri’s manipulation of mirrors, prisms, and reflective objects to frame, isolate, double, and otherwise interact with her subjects–one of the most distinctive and adventurous features of her photographic work–often confounds viewers’ ability to distinguish between reality and reflection. In this 1938 self-portrait, the mirror’s frame, running down the center of the picture, disturbs what appears at first glance to be a simple view of the artist seated at a table, signaling the discontinuity between the two sides of the picture and the impossibility of understanding or visualizing the physical space occupied, seen, and abstracted by the photographer. Henri also experimented with photomontage, multiple exposures, photograms, and negative printing in her work, consistently constructing images that undermine the camera’s capacity for realism to create multifaceted, artificial, imagined spaces. The spatial and psychological ambiguity produced by Henri’s complex and disorienting compositions accounts not only for their…
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