Arresting Time: Erich Lessing, Reportage Photography, 1948-1973

Arresting Time: Erich Lessing, Reportage Photography, 1948-1973

by Alistair Crawford
     
 

Erich Lessing is a legend in photography. Born in 1923 in Vienna, he became a photo-reporter for Associated Press in 1947, and in 1951 he became one of the earliest members of the legendary Magnum photo cooperative. His remarkable 1950s images documenting post-World War Europe, and particularly his pictures of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, garnered worldwide

…  See more details below

Overview

Erich Lessing is a legend in photography. Born in 1923 in Vienna, he became a photo-reporter for Associated Press in 1947, and in 1951 he became one of the earliest members of the legendary Magnum photo cooperative. His remarkable 1950s images documenting post-World War Europe, and particularly his pictures of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, garnered worldwide admiration. Lessing's works always revolve around the human condition at the moment when power and powerlessness come face to face, when the joy of living is suddnely overclouded with pain. His photographs seize the opportunity to recount an instant of history that will never be repeated. This monumental book is a tribute to Lessing's talent as a photojournalist and a visual record of a time of turmoil and great change. Lessing has received international honors, including the American Art Directors' Award, the Grand Austrian State Prize for Artistic Photography, and many others. 400 duotone photographs.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This stupendous and endlessly browsable collection by Austrian Magnum contributor Lessing is as complete an overview of European postwar history as it is possible to imagine coming from the lens of a single photographer. Joining Magnum in 1951 after a few years with the Associated Press, Lessing exemplifies the virtues of the collective founded in 1947 by a group that included Henri Cartier-Bresson and Robert Capa-a highly developed eye for the "decisive moment" combined with the technical mastery necessary to turn those moments into dramatically composed tableaux. Another advantage of being part of Magnum's dominance of postwar journalistic photography was access. Whether it was into Vivien Leigh's dressing room or the depths of a West German coal mine, Lessing got let into a lot of places and took full advantage. His most famous photographs were taken during the Hungarian revolution of 1956, and they remain the most thorough photographic documentation of that turning point in Cold War history. The photograph of a group of young men removing the portrait of Lenin from the walls of a town hall is as full of iconic power as a painting by David. And the image of an ethereally beautiful woman in a 1958 Berlin nightclub playing with a blonde curl beside the graffito signature of future terrorist Ulrike Meinhof distills a half-century of history into one fleeting gesture. Alistair Crawford's introduction helps contextualize Lessing's achievement, but every few paragraphs the reader will inevitably stop reading to flip once again through this truly magnificent volume. (Nov.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781593720209
Publisher:
Quantuck Lane Press
Publication date:
09/05/2005
Pages:
456
Product dimensions:
9.80(w) x 13.00(h) x 1.50(d)

Meet the Author

Erich Lessing has recently specialized in photography of major works of fine art. He lives in Vienna, Austria, with his wife, Traudl. Alistair Crawford is an artist, photographer, writer, and curator as well as Research Professor of Art at the University of Wales in Aberystwyth.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >