Bill Brandt: Shadow and Light
Artist(s): Bill Brandt
Author(s): Sarah Hermanson Meister
Year published: 2013
Publisher: Thames & Hudson
Publisher Location: London
Total Pages: 208
Illustrations: Includes 255 illustrations, 162 in tritone
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Undoubtedly the most significant figure in the development of photographic modernism in Britain, Bill Brandt defined the artistic potential of photography in a career that spanned half a century. Born in Germany, Brandt ultimately settled in London, and was quickly embraced as one of Britain’s most celebrated artists. His chronicle of the social structure of his adopted country in the 1930s was followed by a wide range of work, including portraits of virtually every British cultural luminary, powerful landscapes and a dramatic, groundbreaking series of nudes. Yet these achievements have often been viewed as if each body of work were the product of a separate artist, and Brandt’s legacy reduced in the popular mind to a handful of iconic images.
A comprehensive survey of the work Brandt published during World War II in illustrated magazines reveals the origins of some of his most remarkable postwar work, while a technical examination of the photographer’s often painstaking retouching techniques, accompanied by detailed illustrations, offers an intimate behind-the-scenes look at the process that was critical to the ultimate impact of Brandt’s extraordinary photographs.