KRULL, Germaine and SUARÈZ, André. Marseille. Paris: Librairie Plon, (1935). Quarto, original photographic cream stiff paper wrappers.
First edition of Krull’s “new vision” look at Marseille, containing her daring high-angle shots of Transporter Bridge.
Once called by Jean Cocteau “the reforming mirror,” Germaine Krull is considered “one of the most significant practitioners of ‘new vision’ photography, which examined the industrial and technological transformations that took place after World War I” (SFMoMA). “She was one of the first to photograph industrial images—factories, bridges, machinery, sometimes viewed from vertiginous angles, finding the essence of the muscular patterns inherent in this subject matter” (Arthur Lazere) and “turning their soaring angles into grand monuments of modernity” (Roth, 46). Man Ray told her that he and she were “the greatest photographers of our time.” Krull’s Marseille contains her daring high-angle shots of Transporter Bridge, typical of the “new framings, large plans, and search for new forms of plastic expression” that define the non-conformist principles of the New Vision movement (Chrystel Jubien). See Parr & Badger, 95.
Born in Wilda, East Prussia, Krull studied photography in Munich. After being imprisoned and then deported from Russia she moved to Berlin in 1922, where her work comprised fashion and advertising, nudes and street photography.
The central theme of Krull’s work is the modern city, which she depicted in radical angles and near-abstract close-ups. Her urban and industrial images were regularly published across Europe and having moved to Paris in 1928, Krull was acknowledged as one of the three top photographers, along with Man Ray and André Kertész.
According to Ms Sichel, “Her greatest contribution as a photographer is the industrial, geometric abstractions that she did in Holland and France in the 1920s, the work for which she is best known. However, it is equally important to look at her pioneeing street work. In the press of the time Krull and André Kertész were the two names everyone cited. They were the people to look at and learn from, whether you were Cartier-Bresson or Brassai or Doisneau, or anybody.”
Richard Pinset, Art Newspaper ‘A photographic pilgrimage’ June 2000