Arnold Abner Newman (New York, March 3, 1918 - June 6, 2006) was an American photographer best known for his portraits of artists.
he was born in Manhattan but spent his childhood in Atlantic City and later studied art at the University of Miami, but had to interrupt it for financial reasons. In 1939 he began working in Philadelphia for a chain of photographic studios that made quick portraits on the cheap.
The first exhibition of his photographs was held, together with Ben Rose, at the "A.D. Gallery" in New York in 1941, with the support of Alfred Stieglitz and Beaumont Newhall. Soon after, he again moved to Florida where he set up a studio and between 1942 and 1945 he made portraits of contemporary artists, in 1946 he moved to New York where he opened his own studio.
he began to collaborate in various magazines such as Harper's Bazaar and Fortune. In August 1947 he began his collaboration with Life with his first cover of a total of 24 he did throughout his life. Other publications with which he collaborated were New York Times, "Portfolio" or "Werbung".</ P>
Since his first exhibition at the "A.D. Gallery" in New York in 1942, he has had numerous shows of his work. Among them are "In and Out of Focus" from 1949 at MOMA, "Arnold Newman: Five Decades" from 1986 at the Pori Art Museum in Finland and at the San Diego Museum of Photographic Arts, "5 X 5" from 1988 at the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Caracas, "Camera Portraits" from 1989 at the National Portrait Gallery, "Arnold Newman's Gift: 60 Years of Photography" from 1999 at the International Center of Photography, "Beverly Hills 1962 - Marilyn Monroe by Arnold Newman" from 2006 at the Hartmann gallery in Barcelona, in addition to the retrospective exhibition "Masterclass" that has been touring different countries such as Germany, the Netherlands and the United States since 2012.
He has received numerous awards, including an award at Photokina in 1951, a gold medal at the 1963 Venice Biennale, a lifetime of work award for the American Society of Magazine Photographers in 1975 or Master of Photography from the Infinity Awards in 1999. The University of Miami made him Doctor Honoris Causa in 1981. After his death, due to a heart attack, an important part of his legacy was Acquired by the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin.
Although he took all kinds of photographs, it was the portraits that gave him the most relevance. A characteristic of his portraits is the use of elements or objects that are related to the interests or profession of the photographed character. In this way, in a portrait of Igor Stravinski, the image is almost completely occupied by a grand piano or by a drawing in the case of Salvador Dalí. His style has become known as "environmental portraiture" and Newman began to outline it in his 1942 portraits of George Grosz and Yasuo Kuniyoshi. Newman himself acknowledges his influence on his work from the Farm Security Administration office program photographers and Walker Evans in particular. In his portraits he presents a careful composition, he usually uses formal perspectives and endows them with a certain psychological depth. </ P>
He made portraits of a large number of artists and famous people, including: Marcel Duchamp and Piet Mondrian with portraits from 1942, Igor Stravinsky, one of his best-known portraits, and he did it in 1946, Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1950, Salvador Dalí in 1951, Pablo Picasso in 1954, Haile Selassie in 1958, Bob Moses in 1959, Marilyn Monroe in 1962, Alfried Krupp in 1963, Francisco Franco in 1964, Henry Miller in 1976, Truman Capote in 1977, Ronald Reagan in 1981, Paul Auster in 1993 or Woody Allen in 1996. When he made a portrait he took a series of shots on a contact sheet where he finally selected one or more of them.
My job as a portrait photographer is to seduce, amuse and entertain.