FRED STEIN & ERIKA STONE
New York Vision 1940s-50s
Exhibition: November 5 – 21, 2009
Opening Reception: Thursday, November 5, 6-8PM
For Immediate Release: Contact: Elizabeth Barragan | email@example.com
The Farmani Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of Photo League photographers Fred Stein & Erika Stone. The exhibition features vintage and modern prints of their unique visions as German immigrants living in New York in the 1940s and 50’s.
Fred Stein (b. Dresden, Germany, 1909-1967) became active in the German socialist and anti-Nazi movements as a teenager. Inspired by socialism's moral imperative Stein obtained a law degree from Leipzig University, but was denied admission to the German bar by the Nazi government for "racial and political reasons." In 1933, Stein fled to Paris where he was surrounded by expatriate socialists, thinkers, and artists. In this fertile milieu Stein began taking photographs professionally.
When in 1939, Germany declared war on France, Stein was placed in an internment camp for enemy aliens near Paris. After escaping, he and his family boarded one of the last boats to leave France and landed in the U.S. in 1941, carrying among their few belongings his Leica and a selection of negatives.
In New York, Stein became a member of the Photo League. An astute social observer, he unobtrusively wandered the streets of New York, documenting life from Fifth Avenue to Harlem. In New York, Stein once again found himself surrounded by writers, artists, scientists, politicians, and philosophers. As a result, his archive is filled with portraits from Paris and New York of such greats as Calder, Castro, Corbusier, Dali, de Kooning, Einstein, Ernst, O’Keefe, de Kooning, Miro, Sandburg, Updike and more. His work is in the collections of the Smithsonian, ICP, CCP and more.
Erika Stone (b. Frankfurt, Germany; 1924) emigrated from Munich to the U.S. at 12 to escape impending Nazi persecution. Erika began her career at New York’s professional lab Leco, where she was influenced by Robert & Cornell Capa, Chim, Halsman and others. Shortly, she began working as a stringer for local and international magazines, which resulted in one of her most acclaimed series taken at the famed Sammy’s Bar on the Bowery in the late 1940s.
Erika, like Stein, became a member of the New York Photo League, drawn by the talent and philosophy of fellow members such as Abbott, Grossman, Strand, Rosenblum and Weegee. The Photo League philosophy coincided with her own: use the camera as a medium to instigate social reform as well as a means of documenting the human condition. According to Erika, “Many subjects inspire me, but none as much as capturing a special second in the life of a man, woman or child. Their sorrows fill me with compassion and their joys move me deeply. That is why my camera will always seek them out.”
In addition to NYC scenes, Erika captured celebrities such as Lauren Bacall, Leonard Bernstein, Pablo Casals, Marilyn Monroe, Ginger Rogers, and many more. Her photographs are in the collections of major institutions: CCP; GEH; ICP; The Jewish Museum, NY; MOCNY, NYHS; NYPL and more. Erika currently resides in New York City.
The Farmani Gallery is located at: 111 Front Street, Suite 212, Brooklyn, NY between Washington and Adam Streets in the DUMBO neighborhood and is accessible by subway on the F (York St.), A and C (High St.) and the 2 and 3 (Clark St.) lines. Gallery Hours: Wednesday – Saturday, 1-6PM. Information: www.farmanigallery.com or firstname.lastname@example.org or ph# 718-578-4478.