Russian-born Alexey Brodovitch is a legend in the world of art direction and photography. Though best know for his twenty years spent at the art direction helm of Harper's Bazaar from 1938-1958, Brodovitch was also an accomplished photographer. So much so that he taught workshops on the side and was instructor to many, Diane Arbus and Richard Avedon among them, who would go on to become legends themselves.
His theories and concepts, born in the post-WWI art and cultural boom of Paris, France had strong ties to Russian Constructivism and Bauhaus design from Germany, not to mention Surrealism, Cubism and Dada. From 1935-1937, Brodovitch spent two years working on what would become BALLET - a study of various Ballet companies on tour. Though originally meant as mere keepsakes, the photos were shot in a style that was essentially the polar opposite of the straight photography of the time. The result is starkly more impressionistic and conveys an emotional depth the more straight practices could never achieve.The Books on Books series is a project that takes rare and out-of-print photography books and makes them readily available again. Each book presents page for page the entire work of an original manuscript that was either too rare or too expensive to be studied without travel, much money, or both. The secrets these books hold and have finally been allowed to disseminate to a wider audience show the full breadth of the history of photography and some of the more momentous occasions of its past.
ALEXEY BRODOVITCH: BALLET