Exhibition: Herbert Matter – Mercedes, 1940

Mercedes 1940

Dates: October 24 – December 7, 2013
Opening: Thursday, October 24, 6 – 8pm

980 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10075

Higher Pictures presents Mercedes 1940, by Herbert Matter. This is the first New York solo exhibition of Herbert Matter in over a decade.

The exhibition is a selection of fifteen vintage photographs of Mercedes Carles by Herbert Matter, made in the summer before they married. Matter’s intimate portraits of Mercedes are the visual result of a thrilling act by an artist and lover and a dance of seduction with the camera, her energy and allure. Introduced in 1938 by Fernand Léger, the pair became one of the most powerful and influential art world couples of the 20th century throughout their sixty-year marriage. Close friends and associates included Jackson Pollock, Franz Kline, Willem de Kooning, Fernand Léger, Alexander Calder, Alberto Giacometti, Charles and Ray Eames, Buckminster Fuller and fellow Swiss photographer Robert Frank.

A pioneering figure in photography, Herbert Matter came to the United States in 1935. Matter was inspired by the Russian Constructivists and Man Ray. It is noted that his light drawings anticipated Abstract Expressionism and indeed may have influenced his friend Jackson Pollock. He employed all manner of darkroom techniques to create his photographs, including collage, montage, solarization, reverse printing, retouching, cropping, and re-photographing.

Reticent but much respected, the Swiss-born New York photographer Herbert Matter (1907-1984) was a rare figure who bridged the commercial and fine arts. His wife, Mercedes Matter (1913–2001), the painter, muse and New York School maven was born into the art world. Her mother was Mercedes de Cordoba, who modeled for Edward Steichen and other members of the Photo-Secession; her father was the early American modernist painter Arthur B. Carles.

For further information contact Kim Bourus at 212.249.6100

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