Hans Namuth (1915-1990)
Pollock Painting (1951)
Hans Namuth (March 17, 1915 – October 13, 1990) was a German-born photographer. Namuth specialized in portraiture, photographing many artists, including abstract expressionist Jackson Pollock. His photos of Pollock at work in his studio increased Pollock's fame and recognition and led to a greater understanding of his work and techniques. Namuth used his outgoing personality and persistence to photograph many important artistic figures at work in their studios.
Namuth photographed many other painters such as Willem de Kooning, Robert Rauschenberg, and Mark Rothko and architects such as Frank Lloyd Wright, Philip Johnson, and Louis Kahn. Namuth focused on his rapport with his subjects, getting many reclusive figures such as Clyfford Still to agree to be photographed. Namuth's work not only captured his subjects in their studios with their works, but also captured the relationship between photographer and subject as well as the subjects' levels of self-consciousness. Besides famous art figures, Namuth photographed the Mam people of Todos Santos, whose native lifestyles were being overrun by Western influences. Namuth died in a Long Island car crash in 1990.