Wisdom Cries Out in the Streets – Louis Stettner

Posted in America, Brassai, Photography, Stettner by Rollfilm on May 23, 2007

LOUIS STETTNER has had a long and distinguished career in photography. Starting at the age of thirteen, encouraged by Alfred Stieglitz and Paul Strand, his photographs are now in such permanent collections as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art and the Victoria and Albert Museum.

While there have been significant exhibitions in the United States and Europe, his work remains relatively unknown to the general public. Greatly appreciated by fellow photographers and discerning collectors, the problem as photography critic Kelly Wise aptly states: “rarely is his work shown in breadth.”

Slowly a legend has blossomed about his early photographs (1947 – 1972) that has strongly influenced young photographers. Yet its true scope and depth has been only available to those
fortunate enough to visit his print room.

There is a most stirring and perceptive Introduction by his teacher and lifelong friend, the famous French photographer Brassai (Stettner is the only photographer to be honored): “Stettner has always been fully conscious that the role of the photographer is not to turn away from all reference to reality, but on the contrary to express a profound experience with it.”

From: Stettner’s Biography on Bonni Benrubi Gallery (pdf)

Snow Fight, Lower East Side, NYC, 1951

Times Square, 2002

Odd Man In, Penn. Station, 1958

photos: Bonni Benrubi Gallery


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