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Photograph - The Lonely Metropolitan
  • The Lonely Metropolitan
    Bayer, Herbert, born 1900 - died 1985
  • Enlarge image

The Lonely Metropolitan

  • Object:

    Photograph

  • Place of origin:

    Berlin, Germany (made)

  • Date:

    1932 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Bayer, Herbert, born 1900 - died 1985 (photographer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Gelatin-silver print and photomontage

  • Museum number:

    CIRC.738-1968

  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level H, case X, shelf 905

  • Image in copyright

Herbert Bayer was one of the leading figures in the Bauhaus movement in Germany and throughout his career was a highly influential graphic designer and artist. Bayer produced some straight photographs, highlighting the abstract structures and sculptural qualities of things, but was never interested in the technical side of photography and so his exploration of straight photography was limited. He left the Bauhaus in 1928 and established himself as a leading designer. It was at this stage that he took and interest in photomontage. He was partly responsible for establishing photomontage as a key commercial visual style in the 1930s.

Physical description

Black and white photo montage of a pair of hands with eyes in them, against the background of a tall appartment block.

Place of Origin

Berlin, Germany (made)

Date

1932 (made)

Artist/maker

Bayer, Herbert, born 1900 - died 1985 (photographer)

Materials and Techniques

Gelatin-silver print and photomontage

Marks and inscriptions

Herb Bayer [signature] 32

Dimensions

Height: 398 mm sheet, Width: 298 mm sheet, Height: 392 mm print, Width: 293 mm print

Historical context note

Herbert Bayer was one of the leading figures in the Bauhaus movement in Germany and throughout his career was a highly influential graphic designer and artist. Bayer began to experiment with photography while he was teaching advertising, typography and layout at the Bauhaus school in Dessau. He produced some straight photographs, highlighting the abstract structures and sculptural qualities of things, but was never interested in the technical side of photography and so his exploration of straight photography was limited. He left the Bauhaus in 1928 and established himself as a leading designer. It was at this stage that he took and interest in photomontage. He used the technique for his own artistic work but also in advertising work, where he was partly responsible for establishing photomontage as a key commercial visual style in the 1930s. His main body of photographic work was produced in the late 1920s and the 1930s, after which he continued to develop other areas of visual design.

Descriptive line

20thC; Bayer Herbert, The Lonely Metropolitan, 1932

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Wood, Ghislaine, ed. Surreal Things. Surrealism and Design London : V&A Publications, 2007. 362 p. : col. Ill. ISBN: 978 1 85177 500 2 (HBK) 978 1 85177 501 9 (PBK)
Exhibition catalogue

Exhibition History

Surreal Things: Surrealism and Design (Art Gallery of Ontario 09/05/2009-30/08/2009)
Surreal Things: Surrealism and Design (Guggenheim Museum Bilbao 03/03/2008-07/09/2008)
Surreal Things: Surrealism and Design (Museum Boymans-van Beuningen, Rotterdam 29/09/2007-13/01/2008)
Surreal Things: Surrealism and Design (Victoria and Albert Museum 29/03/2007-22/07/2007)

Production Note

Attribution note: ‘Montage…is the combination of diverse photographic images to produce a new work. The combination is often achieved by re-photographing the mounted elements or by multiple darkroom exposures. In the finished work the actual physical edges become inconspicuous. The artistic result often tends towards the surreal rather than the abstract.’

Gordon Baldwin, Looking at Photographs, J. Paul Getty Museum, 1991

Subjects depicted

Hands; Eyes

Categories

Photographs

Collection code

PDP

Qr_O128503
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