Photography

Matter, Herbert (1907 - 1984)

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.
 

Tags / Herbert Matter - Swiss Photographer - 1930s - Graphic - Portrait - Organic - Avant Garde
Herbert Matter, Woman with Beads, 1948. Herbert Matter ©
Herbert Matter, Woman with Beads, 1948. Herbert Matter ©
Herbert Matter, Woman with Beads, 1948. Herbert Matter ©
Herbert Matter, Woman with Beads, 1948. Herbert Matter ©
Herbert Matter, Model for Vogue, 1948. Herbert Matter ©
Herbert Matter, Model for Vogue, 1948. Herbert Matter ©
Herbert Matter, Mercedes, 1938. Herbert Matter ©
Herbert Matter, Mercedes, 1938. Herbert Matter ©
Herbert Matter, Untitled, 1938. Herbert Matter ©
Herbert Matter, Untitled, 1938. Herbert Matter ©
Herbert Matter, Untitled, 1938. Herbert Matter ©
Herbert Matter, Untitled, 1938. Herbert Matter ©
Herbert Matter, Mercedes, Nude, 1940. Herbert Matter ©
Herbert Matter, Mercedes, Nude, 1940. Herbert Matter ©
Herbert Matter, Mercedes, Provincetown, 1940. Herbert Matter ©
Herbert Matter, Mercedes, Provincetown, 1940. Herbert Matter ©
Herbert Matter, Mercedes, Nude, 1940. Herbert Matter ©
Herbert Matter, Mercedes, Nude, 1940. Herbert Matter ©
Herbert Matter, Mercedes, Nude in Net, 1940. Herbert Matter ©
Herbert Matter, Mercedes, Nude in Net, 1940. Herbert Matter ©
Herbert Matter, Mercedes, Nude in Net, 1940. Herbert Matter ©
Herbert Matter, Mercedes, Nude in Net, 1940. Herbert Matter ©
Herbert Matter, Nude in Reeds, 1940. Herbert Matter ©
Herbert Matter, Nude in Reeds, 1940. Herbert Matter ©
Herbert Matter, Mercedes, Princetown, c.1940. Herbert Matter ©
Herbert Matter, Mercedes, Princetown, c.1940. Herbert Matter ©
Herbert Matter, Nude in Driftwood, 1940. Herbert Matter ©
Herbert Matter, Nude in Driftwood, 1940. Herbert Matter ©
Herbert Matter, Driftwood II, Mercedes Matter, 1940. Herbert Matter ©
Herbert Matter, Driftwood II, Mercedes Matter, 1940. Herbert Matter ©
Herbert Matter, Hanging Mobile, 1936, 1936. Herbert Matter ©
Herbert Matter, Hanging Mobile, 1936, 1936. Herbert Matter ©
Herbert Matter, Self Portrait, c.1950s. Herbert Matter ©
Herbert Matter, Self Portrait, c.1950s. Herbert Matter ©
Herbert Matter, First Portrait, Paris, 1928. Herbert Matter ©
Herbert Matter, First Portrait, Paris, 1928. Herbert Matter ©
Herbert Matter, Girl Swimmer with Wait Hair (Trudi Hess). Herbert Matter ©
Herbert Matter, Girl Swimmer with Wait Hair (Trudi Hess). Herbert Matter ©
Herbert Matter, Girl Swimmer with Wait Hair (Trudi Hess). Herbert Matter ©
Herbert Matter, Girl Swimmer with Wait Hair (Trudi Hess). Herbert Matter ©
Herbert Matter, Louis Armstrong with Trumpet, c.1940. Herbert Matter ©
Herbert Matter, Louis Armstrong with Trumpet, c.1940. Herbert Matter ©
Herbert Matter, Indian Dancers: Study in Motion, c.1970. Herbert Matter ©
Herbert Matter, Indian Dancers: Study in Motion, c.1970. Herbert Matter ©
Herbert Matter, Cassandre, c.1940. Herbert Matter ©
Herbert Matter, Cassandre, c.1940. Herbert Matter ©
Herbert Matter, Mercedes, 1940. Herbert Matter ©
Herbert Matter, Mercedes, 1940. Herbert Matter ©
Herbert Matter, Mercedes, 1940. Herbert Matter ©
Herbert Matter, Mercedes, 1940. Herbert Matter ©
Herbert Matter, Mercedes, 1940. Herbert Matter ©
Herbert Matter, Mercedes, 1940. Herbert Matter ©
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