Arnold Newman


Arnold Newman’s photographs are classics of portraiture. His subtle arrangements constituted the foundations of “environmental portraiture.” His photographs integrate the respective artist’s characteristic equipment and surroundings, thus indicating his or her field of activity. During the Great Depression Newman had to abandon his art studies for financial reasons. Between 1938 and 1942 he concentrated on socio-documentary photography in the ghettos of West Palm Beach, Philadelphia, and Baltimore. One might think that being forced to earn his living in a photography studio would have stifled his artistic potential: Newman portrayed up to 70 clients a day. Yet he still succeeded in developing a very personal touch and establishing himself in the New York art scene of the early 1940s. His subjects included Max Ernst, Marcel Duchamp, Marc Chagall, Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning and Alexander Calder.