Photography
Lisette MODEL
Lisette MODEL
Lisette MODEL
Lisette MODEL
Lisette MODEL
Lisette MODEL
Lisette MODEL
Lisette MODEL
Lisette MODEL
Lisette MODEL
Lisette MODEL
Lisette MODEL
Lisette MODEL
Lisette MODEL
Lisette MODEL
Lisette MODEL
Lisette MODEL
Lisette MODEL
Lisette MODEL
Lisette MODEL
Lisette MODEL
Lisette MODEL
Lisette MODEL
Lisette MODEL
Lisette MODEL
Lisette MODEL
Lisette MODEL
Lisette MODEL
Lisette MODEL
Lisette MODEL
Lisette MODEL
Lisette MODEL
Lisette MODEL
Lisette MODEL
Lisette MODEL
Lisette MODEL
Lisette MODEL
Lisette MODEL
Lisette MODEL
Lisette MODEL
Lisette MODEL
Lisette MODEL
Lisette MODEL
Lisette MODEL
Lisette MODEL
Lisette MODEL
Lisette MODEL
Lisette MODEL
Lisette MODEL
Lisette MODEL
Lisette MODEL
Lisette MODEL
Lisette MODEL

Introduction

If Lisette Model took up photography as a way of earning a living, it is also true that she always fought for her own subjects, rather than simply carry out the assignments given by editors. She believed that for a photograph to be successful its subject had to be something that “hits you in the stomach.” This could be something familiar or something unfamiliar. For Model, the camera was an instrument for probing the world, a way of capturing aspects of a permanently changing reality that otherwise we would fail to see.


Model always said that she looked but did not judge. Yes, her photographs of the Promenade des Anglais in Nice were published by the left-wing journal Regards, in 1935, but she was not interested exclusively either in the rich or in the poor, and her images are much more about human relations. Her work evinces empathy, curiosity, compassion and admiration, and reflects the photographer’s attraction to voluminous forms, energy and liveliness, to emphatic gesture and expression: the world as stage. The critic Elizabeth McCausland has described Model’s camerawork as expressing “a subconscious revolt against the rules.”

Biography

1901
10 November: birth of Lisette Model in Vienna, Austria.


1918–20
Takes music lessons, notably with Arnold Schönberg.


1924
Death of her father.


1926
Moves to Paris.


1933
Gives up music. Gets her first camera and meets Rogi-André.


1934
Starts work on her “Promenade des Anglais” series in Nice. Meets artist Evsa Model, a Constructivist painter of Russian origin.


1935
Images from “Promenade des Anglais” are published in Regards.


1937
Marries Evsa Model


1938
Moves to New York.


1939
Begins her “Reflections” series.


1940
Ralph Steiner publishes selections from “Promenade des Anglais” in PM’s Weekly.


1941
First solo show at the Photo League. Start of her working relationship with Alexey Brodovitch, who publishes her photographs in Harper’s Bazaar.


1942–50
The most productive years of Model’s career. She produces famous images of New York nightspots (Sammy’s Bar, Nick’s, Gallagher’s) and travels to San Francisco, where she meets Ansel Adams.


1951
Becomes a teacher at the New School for Social Research, Columbia University, a position she will hold for the rest of her life.


1955
End of her collaboration with Harper’s Bazaar.


1957
Diane Arbus is among her students.


1968
Made an honorary member of the American Association of Magazine Photographers.


1975
Meets Gerhard Sander, grandson of photographer August Sander, who becomes her dealer and takes responsibility for printing her photographs.


1978
She is guest of honour at the Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie d’Arles, along with Izis and William Klein.


1979
Aperture published a monograph about Lisette Model with layout design by Marvin Israel and text by Berenice Abbott.

1981
“Lisette Model: A Retrospective” is put on at the Museum of Art in New Orleans, and tours to the Folkwang Museum, Essen (Germany) the following year.
 
1982
Lisette Model is awarded the Gold Medal for Photography by the City of Paris.

1983
4 March: gives her last lecture at the Comfort Gallery, Haverford College.
30 March: she passes away in New York, aged 82.
 
1990
A major retrospective is put on at the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, curated by Ann Thomas.

Exhibitions

Lisette MODEL
Peter KNAPP / Lisette MODEL / Joel-Peter WITKIN
Mathieu Bernard-Reymond / Lisette MODEL / Louis-Rémy ROBERT / Tomas VAN HOUTRYVE / Joel-Peter WITKIN
Ayana V. JACKSON / Robert MAPPLETHORPE / Lisette MODEL / Joel-Peter WITKIN
Paul Delvaux / DUBUFFET / Sol LEWITT / Robert MAPPLETHORPE / Lisette MODEL / Germaine RICHIER / Joel-Peter WITKIN
Malala Andrialavidrazana / Patrick BAILLY-MAITRE-GRAND / Christian COURREGES / Yves GELLIE / Ayana V. JACKSON / Peter KNAPP / Chrystčle LERISSE / Lisette MODEL / Félix Tournachon dit NADAR / Pierre-Louis PIERSON / Joel-Peter WITKIN