Monday, July 12, 2010

Hugo Erfurth

 Otto Dix, The Photographer Hugo Erfurth, 1925

Hugo Erfurth (1874-1948) was the portrait photographer par excellence of the intellectual and artistic avant-garde of the Weimar Republic in the 1920s. Many artists, including Oskar Kokoschka, Otto Dix, Max Beckmann, Marc Chagall and Paul Klee had their portraits taken in his atelier. He developed an elegiac style of portraiture. Erfurth’s work is characterized by a simple natural use of light, great psychological insight into the character of each of his subjects, and a masterful use of the technique of oil-pigment printing.

Hugo Erfurth,  Otto Dix with his painting class at the Dresden Academy, 1929

Erfurth studied art at the Academy of Arts in Dresden, Germany, from 1892 to 1896. Where he was trained in the aesthetics of Pictorialism and shaped by the compositional style of Art Nouveau. He worked as a portrait photographer in Dresden from 1896 until about 1925. From 1924 to 1948 he was chairman of the jury of the prestigious Gesellschaft Deutscher Lichtbildner (GDL). He worked in Cologne, Germany, from 1934 to 1943 and in Gaienhofen (Bodensee) from 1943 until his death in 1948. 

 Hugo Erfurth, Otto Dix and [actor] Heinrich George in front of his portrait, 1933

Otto Dix, Portrait of the Actor Heinrich George, 1932
Hugo Erfurth, Marc and Bella Chagall, 1923

 Hugo Erfurth, Oskar Kokoschka, 1920
Hugo Erfurth, Max Beckmann, 1928

 Otto Dix, Hugo Erfurth with Dog, 1926

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