Main menu

Three Photography Shows in New York

October 13, 2016

Kati Horna (1912-2000), born Katalin Deutsch Blau in Budapest, studied in Berlin in the early 1930s and there befriended Marxist theoretician Karl Korsch and playwright Bertolt Brecht. The rise of the Nazis first sent Horna, a Jew, back to Budapest, then to Paris, and at the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War to Barcelona. She was already a proficient photographer, and the Americas Society is showing many of her pictures and photomontages from Spain, both as prints and as published in leftist and anarchist magazines and propaganda brochures. Along with images of partisan soldiers and suffering civilians is a 1937 portrait of Emma Goldman, the American anarchist, looking grim and slightly addled.

Horna had to sell her Linhof view camera in 1939 to flee to Mexico. In Mexico City she set about a long career in which she excelled in many areas of photography—portraits, photojournalism, photomontage, architecture—and concluded as a teacher to a succeeding generation. In 1944 Nosotros published “Loquibambia,” portraits she took at an insane asylum, including “El Iluminado” (“The Enlightened One”), a handsome man with a neatly trimmed beard and a shy smile. Her work for the avant-garde magazine S.nob included the series “Ode to Necrophilia” (1962). There are two portraits in color for covers of Mujeres and several pictures of modernist buildings. In “Historia de un vampiro: sucedió en Coyoacán en 1962” (”Story of a Vampire: It Happened in Coyoacán in 1962”), a surrealist-tinged series, Horna explored feminist themes....

Read the full article here