Ilse BingAmerican, born Germany (Frankfurt am Main, Germany, 1899 - 1998, New York City, New York)
Greta Garbo Poster, Paris
Bing was known as the "Queen of the Leica" for her innovative use of that 35-millimeter camera. A German expatriate living in Paris in the 1930s, she was well connected with the European vanguard and exhibited frequently alongside Man Ray, André Kertész, and Henri Cartier-Bresson, while supporting herself with commercial assignments.
Bing's personal style synthesized the radical formal qualities of German Bauhaus photography with the concerns of the French Surrealists. Whereas the Bauhaus embraced technology as a symbol of progress, the Surrealists were more reluctant to celebrate modernity. They took their cameras to the city's shadowy alleys, where the past intruded upon the present like its unconscious alter ego. Bing captures the superimposition of old and new in this photograph of a disintegrating movie poster. The picture balances abstraction with concrete subject matter and exploits the spontaneity of the 35-millimeter camera.