Thursday evening had some time to see some art. First ALbertina - Thomas Ender’s watercolors, then a little show (really just a few works) from Bacon, Liechtenstein, Warhol, Richter, then photographs from Lee Miller. Had to learn a lot looking at these photos. She started up as a fashion model (see below), then got into surrealist photography and worked with Man Ray (and had a relationship with him), then got to be one of the five women photographers in the WWII and managed to take quite some powerful pictures. She even traveled through Romania before that (with Roland Penrose) and took photos which I most certainly saw before but never associated with her name.
Then, Westlicht - Edward Steichen - In High Fashion. Not exactly my kind of work and not really interested in the fashion world of the 20s and 30s but, surprise, surprise - look who’s here! - Lee Miller, posing for Steichen! Then, there was even a footage of Steichen arriving at his studio and taking pictures of a creative dancer. Burst shots were achieved through quick changing of plates and pressing the shutter. He and his assistant had to coordinate their work in order to achieve this feat. The dancer moved and stretched and posed as the master would want her to. And all of them smoked. And smoked. And smoked.
Compared to Miller’s pictures (which I had seen an hour before) the posing was almost unbearable, but the light was perfect and the subjects (among them Garbo, Churchill, Primo Carnera and Jack Dempsey) did their job impeccably.
As I was pacing leisurely around, the lights went out suddenly. The whole gallery plunged into darkness. No background noise any longer, no coffee machine, no chatter… nothing. Silence. Nobody knew what to do. Cellphones were switched on and numbers were dialed. A few continued to look at the pictures, lighting them up with the LEDs on their phones. A sort of camera obscura in reverse, inside a camera gallery.
Perhaps I am happy with less. Quiet. With myself. Though, solitude keeps being postponed daily.