Florence Henri (1893–1982) was born in the United States but spent most of her life in France, where she was closely associated with the major figures of European modernism. Initially a student of painting at Fernand Léger and Amédée Ozenfant’s Académie Moderne in Paris, she quickly became a gifted and knowing participant in the most advanced art movements of the time — late Cubism, Purism, and Constructivism. In 1928, having spent a semester at the Bauhaus in Dessau, she turned to the camera and moved swiftly from the avant-garde of one art form to the avant-garde of another. For a heady ten years before the interruption of World War II, Henri created an extraordinary body of work — still lifes, abstract compositions, advertising photographs, portraits, self-portraits, nudes, street photographs, and photomontages — that contributed to the development of geometric abstract art and of modern photography in France.
Florence Henri: Artist-Photographer of the Avant-Garde is the first extensive treatment of Henri’s work published in the English language. This richly illustrated monograph by exhibition curator Diana C. du Pont offers a concentrated examination of the artist in the context of her time, focusing on her remarkably productive period between the world wars, when she realized her most avant-garde efforts.