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HUGO ERFURTH (Germany, Halle 1874-1948 / act: Dresden, Cologne and Gaienhofen)

Hugo Erfurth German photographer, Hugo Erfurth was a noted mainly for his portraits of artists, intellectuals, and celebrities of the 1920s. He was born in Halle of Brandenburg, Germany, on 14 October 1874 and died in Gaienhofen, West Germany, on 14 February 1948. Erfurth studied art at the Academy of Arts in Dresden, Germany, from 1892 to 1896. He worked as a portrait photographer in Dresden from 1896 until about 1925. Many artists, including Oskar Kokoschka, Otto Dix, and Paul Klee, frequented his studio and had their portraits taken. From 1924 to 1948 he was chairman of the jury of the prestigious Gesellschaft Deutscher Lichtbildner (GDL), an organization of leading German art photographers. He worked in Cologne, Germany, from 1934 to 1943 and in Gaienhofen from 1943 until his death.

Hugo Erfurth's work is characterized by a simple, natural use of light, great psychological insight into the character of each of his subjects, and a masterful use of the technique of oil-pigment printing. As early as 1927, he also began to produce photograms (shadowlike photographs made by placing an object between a light source and light-sensitive paper) as well as industrial images. Much of his extensive nonportrait work was destroyed during the Second World War.

[Megakles 11/2006]

[Megakles 02/2005]

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