Helmar Lerski: Metamorphosis Through Light. Preface by Andor Kraszna-Krausz. Edited by Ute Eskildsen. Luca Verlag, Dusseldorf, 1982. 110 pp. Slim quarto. First edition. Clothbound in photo-illustrated dust jacket. Photo-lithographic reproductions. Includes extensive biography, chronology, and exhibition and review history. Text in English and German.
Lerski's 1931 book Kopfe des Alltages: unbekannte Menschen (Everyday Heads: Unknown People) is contained in Parr & Badger, vol. I.
Born in Zurich in 1871, Lerski worked behind the scenes on some of the most iconic German Expressionist films of the 20's, including Fritz Lang's Metropolis. He immigrated to Palestine in 1931. Through his work in film, he developed a singular style of portrait photography. The highly stylized lighting, probing close-ups and unexpected angles are, stylistically speaking, the polar opposite of August Sander's detached objectivist view. Yet like Sander, Lerski was also attempting to catalogue social type, even while he obscured all clues that would reveal it by focusing solely on the heads of his subjects. An invaluable resource on the life and work of a sorely under-appreciated artist.
Fine- in Near Fine jacket; light wear and soiling; one corner lightly 'kissed'.