Germany 1899 – United States of America 1998
1933 Description: Vase with flowers
Materials & Technique: photographs, gelatin silver photograph
I didn't choose photography; it chose me. I didn't know it at the time. An artist doesn't think first then do it, he is driven.
Ilse Bing took up photography in the late 1920s in order to document her doctoral thesis in architecture. By 1930 she was living in Paris, after seeing an exhibition of contemporary photography from France that she saw at the Kunstverein in Frankfurt. She was particularly inspired by the work of the photographer Florence Henri included in that exhibition.
Her work was published in numerous newspapers and fashion magazines. Bing earned the title 'queen of the Leica' because she was one of the few photographers of the time who worked exclusively with this 'miniature' format camera. She was fascinated by the possibilities of photographing objects and often used shadows and reflections as compositional devices.
Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra