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Hats, hats, hats

Photograph
1934 (photographed), 1985 (printed)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Ilse Bing (1899-1998) was one of several leading women photographers in the inter-war period. Born into a Jewish family in Frankfurt, she initially pursued an academic career before moving to Paris in 1930 to concentrate on photography. She first experimented with solarisation in 1934 in Paris. Although working in the spirit of Surrealism, she later claimed that at the time she was unaware of Man Ray (1890-1976) and Lee Miller's (1907-1977) experiments with this technique. Solarisation happens when negatives are exposed to light in the darkroom during developing and printing, producing partly reversed images. Bing's experiments developed from an interest in light. As she explained, at the time 'light was considered the medium that permits photography. But for me it became the main subject: the protagonist of my photography'. The abstraction caused by solarisation creates an unusual effect - the hats float behind the abstract grid, taking on new and surreal qualities.


object details
Category
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Photograph from solarised negative
Brief Description
'Hats, hats, hats', by Ilse Bing (1899-1998), 1934, gelatin-silver print from solarised negative, printed 1985
Physical Description
Solarised black and white photograph of hats viewed through a metal grid.
Dimensions
  • Sheet height: 35.1cm
  • Sheet width: 27.8cm
  • Image height: 32.9cm
  • Image width: 21.9cm
Style
Marks and Inscriptions
  • 'Ilse/Bing/1934/Paris/Hats-hats-hats/sol.' neg./pr 1985 (reverse in pencil., written by Bing)
  • 'ILSE BING 1934' (Artist's signature, black ink, bottom right of image)
Gallery Label
‘Selling Dreams: One Hundred Years of Fashion Photography’, 2014. Label text: Isle Bing (1899–1998) Hats, Hats, Hats 1934 Hoyningen-Huene and Horst photographed fashions with cumbersome 10 x 8 inch plate cameras, largely confining their work to the studio. In contrast, Bing’s portable Leica provided her with the freedom to roam. Like Man Ray and Lee Miller, Bing experimented with solarisation in the 1930s, a technique in which the negative is exposed to light during processing to create a partly reversed image. Gelatin silver print from solarised negative, printed 1985 Given by Ilse Bing Wolff Museum no. E.3059-2004 (07 03 2014)
Credit line
Bequeathed by Ilse Bing Wolff
Subject depicted
Place Depicted
Summary
Ilse Bing (1899-1998) was one of several leading women photographers in the inter-war period. Born into a Jewish family in Frankfurt, she initially pursued an academic career before moving to Paris in 1930 to concentrate on photography. She first experimented with solarisation in 1934 in Paris. Although working in the spirit of Surrealism, she later claimed that at the time she was unaware of Man Ray (1890-1976) and Lee Miller's (1907-1977) experiments with this technique. Solarisation happens when negatives are exposed to light in the darkroom during developing and printing, producing partly reversed images. Bing's experiments developed from an interest in light. As she explained, at the time 'light was considered the medium that permits photography. But for me it became the main subject: the protagonist of my photography'. The abstraction caused by solarisation creates an unusual effect - the hats float behind the abstract grid, taking on new and surreal qualities.
Collection
Accession Number
E.3059-2004

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record createdOctober 24, 2005
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