FLORENCE HENRI

(1893-1982)

Florence Henri was a surrealist photographer, artist and pianist. During her childhood she lived in Paris, Vienna and the Isle of Wight, later studying in Rome where she encountered the Futurists. Henri also lived in Berlin, where she studied piano from 1910 to 1922 and worked during the First World War. Henri returned to Paris in 1922 to attend the Académie André Lhote and study painting at the Académie Moderne. However, Henri’s most important artistic training would come from the Bauhaus in Dessau, where she studied under Josef Albers (1888-1976) and Lászlö Moholy-Nagy (1895-1946), who would introduce her to photography. 

 

Henri returned to Paris in 1929, where she became a member of the Cercle et Carré group and set up her own studio as a professional photographer. By 1930, she was exhibiting her work at international exhibitions in Munich and New York, as well as teaching classes to future luminaries such as Gisèle Freund (1908-2001) and Lisette Model (1901-1983). The importance of Henri’s work was recognised in several solo exhibitions and published in various journals, including N-Z Wochenschau. Leading up to the Second World War and the Nazi occupation of France, photographic materials became increasingly hard to obtain. Florence Henri returned to abstract painting, which she focused upon until her death on 24th July 1982. 

Woman and flags. Photograph in ‘Photo 1931’ book.

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Portrait of a woman. Photograph in ‘Photo 1931’ book.

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Woman and flags. Photograph in ‘Photo 1931’ book.

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