press release

Herbert List ( 1903 – 1975 ) was a classically educated artist who combined a love of the photographic medium with his fascination with surrealism and classicism, and with metaphor and allegory. From the 1930's to the 1950's List, a multilinguist and world traveler created a stunningly personal and beautiful body of work (and play). In the 1940's the term "Fotografia Metafisica"(Metaphysical Photography) was coined to describe List's approach. List himself spoke of the "mysterious marriages that exist between table and chair, glass and bottle." He was a lover of Romantic literature and poetry and was fond of a quote by the poet Novalis: "An outer appearance is but an inner self raised to a mysterious state." In almost all of his work, from still lifes to portraits, List pursued what a contemporary described as "the presence of absence.'' This sensibility defined his personal work as well as his commercial efforts such as appeared in Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, Verve, Life, and other publications, including several books. We are extremely pleased to present "Veiled. The Elusive Oeuvre of Herbert List." Our selection of prints by this modernist and influential German master touches upon several of List's major areas of interest, including surrealist tableaus, portraiture, classic sculpture, post-war destruction, street, and the beauty of the male figure. All of these images contain a sense of contemplative beauty and ironic detachment rendered by a romantic intellect filled with a gentle melancholy.


The Elusive Oeuvre of Herbert List