During the summer and fall of 1950, as Jackson Pollock splattered paint on canvases on the floor of his Long Island studio, a young photographer named Hans Namuth documented the artist at work. His photos, first published inPortfolioandArt News, enhanced public understanding of Pollock's paintings and began for Namuth a 40-year career of photographing America's leading painters, sculptors, writers, musicians, and architects. This collection of 75 of Namuth's photographic portraits, accompanied by a biographical essay by Carolyn Kinder Carr, shows how his friendships with his often reclusive subjects and his determination to capture the essence of each artist's style resulted in revealing portraits of such notable painters as Willem and Elaine de Kooning, Mark Rothko, Roy Lichtenstein, Jasper Johns, Andrew Wyeth, Helen Frankenthaler, and Andy Warhol.
"Many of the familiar images of artists and intellectuals living in this country following World War II are the work of German-born American photographer Hans Namuth (1915-90)... Carr, the National Portrait Gallery's deputy director and organizer of the exhibition, has written the most comprehensive biographical study to date.... Namuth's intimate, straightforward portraits chronicle the working techniques of such legendary figures as Frank Lloyd Wright, Walter Gropius, John Steinbeck, Edward Hopper, Andrew Wyeth, Louise Nevelson, Stephen Sondheim, and, most notably, the Abstract Expressionists."
- Library Journal