Rosenberg & Co. is honored to represent the estate of Fred Stein, and opens the exhibition, The World of Fred Stein, on Thursday, November 19. The solo show features approximately fifty vintage, gelatin silver photographic prints taken by Stein during his time in Paris preceding World War II, his subsequent life in New York City, and post-war journeys back to Europe.
Stein was first and foremost a humanist, committed to veracity and respecting the dignity of his subjects, both famed and anonymous. His images present intimate and honest realities of the locations in which he lived and the people who inhabited them, and in turn provide us with a window into history, a glimpse of The World of Fred Stein.
Children Reading the Newspaper, Paris (1936) or Orchard Beach, New York (1946), for example, tenderly depict groupings of people immersed in their own private worlds. Stein’s photographs evoke universal human interactions and emotions that transcend spatial and temporal demarcations. Even Three Chairs, Paris (1937) – a scene from which individuals are wholly absent – serves as a poignant metonymic image.
Working on spontaneous street photography or more formal portraiture, Stein was adept at visual human connections. He was equally accomplished at creating graphically strong compositions, adopting a formalist approach when shooting inanimate objects like Fish Platter, Brittany (1935) or Fire Escape in Snow, New York (1946). His keen eye for detail and warm sense of humor shine in the expertly cropped photograph, Legs (on Stadium Steps), Paris (1935).
Fred Stein (1909, Dresden, Germany–1967, New York, New York) was a pioneer of Modern photography. He utilized new technology of the 35mm hand-held camera to innovate street and portrait photography, and he associated with and exchanged ideas with other luminary artists and intellectuals such as Robert Capa, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Philippe Halsman, and André Malraux. Stein’s photography is included in the permanent collections of: the Museum of Modern Art, New York; J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.; International Center of Photography, New York; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Jewish Museum, New York; National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C.; Musée Carnavalet, Paris; Jewish Museum, Berlin; and National Portrait Gallery, London, among other important institutions. A retrospective of Fred Stein’s work will be shown at the Southeast Museum of Photography, Daytona, Florida from February 24–May 25, 2016.
The World of Fred Stein
November 19, 2015 – February 12, 2016