Florence Henri's photography was praised by the Moholy-Nagys and exhibited alongside Picasso, yet she remains all but unknown, even her biographers disagree on the basic facts of her life. A pioneer known for introducing mass-manufactured materials, optical illusions and commercial products into her pictures, her work and her tutoring of future artists makes her a critical figure of modernist photography. As I wrote for AnOther, the story of Henri's fame and fall is all too familiar, thankfully a selection of Henri's work is currently on display at ATLAS Gallery, London.
With inventive scenes that would delve into her sitters' mental landscapes, visualising their pensive, determined, and independent personalities, Henri would represent them as women familiar with the tumultuous demands of the modern industrialised city, even if they are constrained by its structures.
Beautiful Photographs by One of the Bauhaus' Unsung Female Artists is published by AnOther.