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Solo show of Lee Miller's fine art photography opens at °CLair Gallery in Saint-Paul-de-Vence
Model wearing a Bruyere windbreaker coat outside the Bruyere Salon, 1944. © Lee Miller Archives, England.

SAINT-PAUL-DE-VENCE.- °CLair Gallery, Saint-Paul-de-Vence, announces a solo show of Lee Miller’s photography from the 29th September to 31th October. The opening vernissage takes place on the 28th September at 7.30pm.

°CLair Gallery is the sole representative of the Lee Miller Estate in France and Germany. Our show consists of works that are all certified, signed, stamped and authorised by the Lee Miller Estate, thus their provenance is assured.

The exhibition is composed of 30 black and white, modern and vintage prints that date from 1932 to the 1960s. They include silver gelatin and platinum prints of portraits, self-portraits, fashion photography, and street photography. Our collection also includes a unique vintage print taken by an anonymous photographer of Lee Miller flying to Germany in 1946.

Lee Miller was born in Poughkeepsie, New York in 1907 and debuted her career as a fashion model to the great photographers of the time, including Edward Steichen, Hoyningen-Huene and Arnold Genthe. In 1929, Miller travelled to Paris and worked with the Surrealist artist and photographer Man Ray, and succeeded in establishing her own studio. She developed into a fashion photographer and portraitist in her own right. °CLair Gallery will exhibit several of Miller’s Surrealist photographs, which some critics claim are her most enduring of works. Her influences include Man Ray and Edward Steichen, as well as the Surrealist movement. In 1937, she travelled to the Cote d’Azur and photographed The Picnic, taken on the Ile de Sainte-Marguerite, an image portraying Man Ray, the French poet Paul Eluard, Roland Penrose, Adi Figelin and the Surrealist muse Nusch.

During a visit to Paris in 1937 she met Roland Penrose, the Surrealist artist who was to become her second husband, and travelled with him to Greece and Romania. In 1939 she left Egypt for London shortly before World War II broke out. She moved in with Roland Penrose and defying orders from the US Embassy to return to America she took a job as a freelance photographer on Vogue.

In 1944 she became a correspondent accredited to the US Army, and teamed up with Time Life photographer David E. Scherman. She followed the US troops overseas on 'D' Day + 20. She was probably the only woman combat photo-journalist to cover the war in Europe and among her many exploits she witnessed the siege of St Malo, the Liberation of Paris, the fighting in Luxembourg and Alsace, the Russian/American link up at Torgau, the liberation of Buchenwald and Dachau. She billeted in both Hitler and Eva Braun's houses in Munich, and photographed Hitler's house Wachenfeld at Berchtesgaden in flames on the eve of Germany's surrender. Penetrating deep into Eastern Europe, she covered harrowing scenes of children dying in Vienna, peasant life in post war Hungary and finally the execution of Prime Minister Lazlo Bardossy.

After the war she continued to work for Vogue for a further two years, covering fashion and celebrities. In 1947, she married Roland Penrose and contributed to his biographies of Picasso, Miro, Man Ray and Tapies. Her 1949 portrait of Pablo and Claude Picasso will be shown at °CLair Gallery, following numerous exhibitions in museums. Some of her portraits of famous artists such as Picasso are the most powerful portraits of the individuals ever produced.

The photographs exhibited at °CLair Gallery, Saint-Paul-de-Vence, reveal the various facets of the photographer. She was a fashion photographer, a war reporter, observer of the times, a friend of Picasso’s and a surrealist muse.

Lee Miller’s vision is at once manifold and deeply personal. This exhibition invites the viewer to rediscover a bygone period, and the unexpected encounters between a photographer and her times.

°CLair Gallery was founded in Munich, Germany, in 2008 and is dedicated to representing and supporting classical and contemporary photographers and their estates worldwide. °CLair opened a second gallery in Saint-Paul-de-Vence, Cote d’Azur, in 2011 to respond to growing demand.

Artists on °CLair Gallery’s roster of 20th and 21st century photographers include David Seymour, Lee Miller, Inge Morath, Eric Hartmann, and Petr Lovigin.

Founding Director and Owner Anna Kahn offers a personal, worldwide curation service to our collectors, and selects and procures individual prints or portfolios on request. She is particularly specialised in selecting images for thematic or chronological collections according to the needs and wishes of the collector.

°CLair Gallery edits and releases one book per year on a featured photographer, and has curated exhibitions at the Russian Cultural Center in Rome, America House in Munich, as well as art fairs worldwide.

Saint-Paul-de-Vence is a fortified village in the hills above the Cote d’Azur, and a perennial attraction to artists and photographers alike since the mid-20th century. Its importance as a destination for culture and the arts is in continuous development, and °CLair Gallery is its only gallery specialised in fine art photography.

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