Grete Stern (Argentinian, born Germany, 1904–1999)
Gelatin silver print
46.2 x 39.6 cm (18 3/16 x 15 9/16 in.)
Image: 26.6 x 22.9 cm (10 1/2 x 9 in.)
Frame: 63.5 x 76.2 cm (25 x 30 in.)
Twentieth-Century Photography Fund, 2012
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 851
In 1948 the Argentine women’s magazine Idilio introduced a weekly column called “Psychoanalysis Will Help You,” which invited readers to submit their dreams for analysis. Each week, one dream was illustrated with a photomontage by Stern, a Bauhaus-trained photographer and graphic designer who fled Berlin for Buenos Aires when the Nazis came to power. Over three years, Stern created 140 photomontages for the magazine, translating the unconscious fears and desires of its predominantly female readership into clever, compelling images. Here, a masculine hand swoops in to “turn on” a lamp whose base is a tiny, elegantly dressed woman. Rarely has female objectification been so erotically and electrically charged.
Inscription: Photographer's stamp on adhesive paper label affixed to mount, verso C: "FOTOGRAFIA // GRETE STERN // COPYRIGHT"; inscribed in pencil on same label: "Sueño No 1 "Articulo electricos // para el hogar" // Serie "Sueños - Fotomontages" // Buenos Aires, ca. 1950 [date in another hand] // printed ca. 1950 [date in another hand] // Foto Grete Stern"; exhibition label affixed to mount, verso BL: "IVAM // 066"; additional markings and labels affixed to mount, see verso scan for details.
Grete Stern; Horacio Coppola (the artist's ex-husband); by descent to Coppola family; [Jorge Mara, Buenos Aires]