An exhibition of 55 photographs by Arnold Newman opens at Sofia City Art Gallery on November 6 and continues until December 9 2018.
The gallery said that Newman (1918-2006) is widely renowned for pioneering and popularizing the environmental portrait.
With his method of portraiture, he placed his sitters in surroundings representative of their professions, aiming to capture the essence of an individual’s life and work.
Though this approach is commonplace today, his technique was highly unconventional in the 1930s when began shooting his subjects as such. He is also known for his carefully composed, abstract still lifes.
He dedicated 70 years of his life to photography and seals the history of the century, creating an innovative approach to portraiture – “environmental portraiture”, by taking the model out of the sterile world of the studio.
His environmental approach to portraiture was influenced by symbolism and impressionism, and defined by the imperative of captivating the viewer no matter how well known the subject was.
While he specialised in photographing artists, Newman captured the likeness of a vast range of figures, from athletes and actors to presidents and politicians.
Among his many sitters, Newman’s impressive roster of subjects includes Marlene Dietrich, John F Kennedy, Piet Mondrian, Pablo Picasso, Arthur Miller, Marilyn Monroe, Ronald Reagan, Mickey Mantle, Audrey Hepburn, Igor Stravinsky, Salvador Dali, Georgia O’Keefe, Andy Warhol, Truman Capote and Henri Cartier-Bresson.
Newman was an important contributor to publications such as the New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Life, Look, Holiday, Harper’s Bazaar, Esquire, Town & Country, Scientific American, New York Times Magazine, and many others.
In addition to numerous monographs, he contributed photographs to countless histories of photography, catalogues, articles and television programs throughout his career. Newman was the recipient of awards including the American Society of Media Photographers, The Lucie Award, The Royal Photographic Society Centenary Award as well as France’s “Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters.”
In 2005, Photo District News named Newman as one of the 25 most influential living photographers. In 2006, Newman was awarded The Gold Medal for Photography by The National Arts Club. He was the recipient of nine honorary doctorates and lectured and conducted workshops throughout the country and the world.
Masters of Photography – 10th Anniversary Edition is organised by MUSIZ Foundation, America for Bulgaria Foundation, in partnership with VIVACOM, Sofia City Art Gallery, supported by Sofia Municipality. The exhibition is in collaboration with The Arnold & Augusta Newman Foundation and Howard Greenberg Gallery, NY.
Sofia City Art Gallery is at 1 General Gurko Street, Sofia.
(Photos: © Arnold Newman)