After having studied art in Geneva and Paris, Herbert Matter collaborates with the graphic designer, Cassandre and the architect, Le Corbusier. In 1936, he settles in New York where he works for Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue, as a photographer, and as a graphic designer for such design brands as Knoll for whom he creates a logo, recognized as a strong member of America’s advertising business to which he brings his sharp photomontage and typography mastership. Alongside his professional projects, Herbert Matter pursues a personal body of photography work, sharing a darkroom with Robert Frank. Privileging his wife Mercedes Carles as a muse, he explores the nude genre in a surrealist manner inspired by the avant-garde he had encountered in Paris. Mercedes Carles becomes the central subject of organic photographs that play with nature and the wind, often in beach surroundings that make his wife ressemble a fantasy sea creature. Other images reveal his innovative use of light as he uses a penlight just as a paintbrush to draw on photo paper in the darkroom, giving birth to abstract dynamic pictures influenced by Lazlo Moholo-Nagy’s geometric style and Jackson Pollock’s feverish drippings. Yet, what probably strikes the most are his portraits of the wet-haired swimmer: there’s something terribly contemporary in the close-up, the girl’s attitude and the drenched hair: an allure most contemporary fashion designers would praise.