fbpx Biennale Arte 2022 | Florence Henri
La Biennale di Venezia

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Florence Henri

1893, USA – 1982, France


  • TUE - SUN
    23/04 > 25/09
    11 AM - 7 PM

    27/09 > 27/11
    10 AM - 6 PM
  • Central Pavilion
  • Admission with ticket

Born in America and raised in Rome, Florence Henri moved to Berlin when she was just twenty. Fascinated by the feminist model of the Neue Frau (New Woman), she depicts the complex, hybrid femininity that was widespread after the war. Like many female artists of her generation, she played with her features to create a fluid identity: in her photographs, the body becomes a collection of signs that, like the abstract compositions of her early paintings, can be dismantled, reassembled, revealed, and concealed. Yet these black-and-white photos seem less linked to the historical avant-gardes than to the Neue Sehen (New Vision) movement. Founded in about 1927 by László Moholy-Nagy, around the time Henri attended the Bauhaus summer school, it favoured a photographic gaze with strong composition and a Surrealist slant. Even when they are not self-portraits or striking images of women’s bodies, Henri’s works create a spatial or compositional ambiguity, employing reflective props like mirrors and techniques like multiple exposure or photomontage to forge an ongoing dialogue between reality and fiction. Whether they show fragments of a Greek statue in front of the sea or objects in the mirror, these photographs present the tension between opposites. Alluding to categories like male and female, nature and artifice, life and death, they try to capture some point of equilibrium. 

Stefano Mudu

 

Central Pavilion
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