NEW YORK, NY.- Max Protetch Gallery
presents Building by Shutter: Archival and Vintage Architectural Photography. The exhibition includes photographs by renowned architectural photographers Lucien Hervé and Balthazar Korab; their subjects include buildings by Le Corbusier (Hervé), Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Eero Saarinen (Korab). It highlights the special relationships that architectural photographers form with the buildings they document, as well as with those buildings' creators.
As modern architecture became a global phenomen on, those who were passionate about it became increasingly reliant upon photography to experience the buildings that were being constructed throughout the world. However, several of the photographers who dedicated their careers to architecture brought much more than a documentarian's eye to their work.
Lucien Hervé (1910-2007) and Balthazar Korab (b. 1926) are among the small group of photographers who have changed the way we see architecture. In their work, some of the most important buildings of the 20th century are depicted in all their sculptural purity, as intensely-choreographed compositions of light, material, and space. Mies' National Gallery in Berlin and Seagram Building in New York; Le Corbusier's Unité d'habitation (Cité Radieuse), Marseille; and Eero Saarinen's Dulles Airport in Washington and TWA Terminal in New York are all on view in the exhibition.
Both Hervé and Korab have paid close attention to the technical and material aspects of their art, and Building by Shutter features many archival prints that showcase the care with which they have made their negatives and prints. By bringing fresh photographic seeing and technique to architecture that has defined its time, these artists have renewed both our understanding of the built environment and the ways in which we inhabit it.
Interestingly, both men are of Hungarian descent, and were caught up in tumultuous political upheavals in Europe at different moments in the first half of the 20th century.
Lucien Hervé was born in Hungary in 1910, moved to Paris in 1929, and fought in the Resistance against the Germans in World War II. A few years later began his collaboration with Le Corbusier, one that lasted until the architect's death in 1965. In addition to his architectural work, he made abstract photographs and collages. Hervé died in 2007.
Balthazar Korab, born in 1926, fled from Hungary's Communist government in 1949. He then earned a diploma in architecture at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris, and worked under several prominent European architects, including Le Corbusier. He arrived in the United States in 1955 and began to work with Eero Saarinen as a photographer shortly thereafter. A large body of his work is currently included in Eero Saarinen: Shaping the Future, on view at the Museum of the City of New York through January 31 and accompanied by the book Eero Saarinen: Buildings from the Balthazar Korab Archive, published by W.W. Norton. He lives and works in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.