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Ilse Bing, Self Portrait, 1934 © Galerie Karsten Greve

There is probably no photographer as passionately committed to working with the Leica camera as Ilse Bing was. Starting in 1929, this miniature camera was her constant companion and remained such for over two decades: ‟I felt that the camera grew into an extension of my eyes and moved with me“. With the help of close-ups, the extensive use of daring perspectives, unconventional cropping, and geometric and detailed perspectives; the motifs are isolated and almost alienated from their original context. She also discovered a type of solarisation for negatives independently of a similar process developed by the artist Man Ray.
Ilse Bing was born in 1899 in Frankfurt / Main, Germany. In 1930, she moved to Paris where she lived until 1941, but in the shadow of World War II, she and her husband immigrated to New York City. Bing’s extraordinary technique and the quality of her photographs caught the art world’s attention in the beginning of the 1930s. Especially in Europe, in the USA, and in Japan she earned an excellent reputation as a photojournalist and fashion photographer. In 1936, her work was included in the first modern photography exhibition held at the Louvre and in 1937, she travelled to New York where her images were included in the landmark exhibition "Photography 1839 - 1937" at the Museum of Modern Art. In the 1970s, her work was rediscovered and since then has been exhibited several times. Today, her pieces are presented in the collections of many important museums, such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the San Francisco Museum of Fine Art and the Art Institute of Chicago.

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