When Martin Munkacsi arrived in Berlin in 1927, he found a metropolis bursting with artistic innovation. Photography was particularly fertile ground for the principles of Surrealism, the New Vision, and the New Objectivity, all of which had captured the imaginations of many avant-garde photographers. Munkacsi was introduced to these ideas through his employer Kurt Safranski, the managing editor of the Ullstein publications, and began to conduct his own experiments in the late 1920s. This image was likely one such enterprise; it features the close-up view favored by avant-garde photographers, and the unusual cropping is characteristic of Surrealism, in which disembodied lips regularly materialized as erotic symbols.
Inscription: Photographer's stamp in violet on print verso C: "Aufnahme // Martin Munkacsy // Berlin - Wilmersdorf // Kaiserplatz 14" // Telefon :UHland 7565"; inscribed in pencil on print verso UR [sideways]: "6598"
[Daniel Wolf, New York]; John C. Waddell, New York (March 27, 1982)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Johnson Gallery, Selections from the Collection 31," January 28, 2002–May 19, 2003.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Johnson Gallery, Selections from the Collection 61," February 12, 2013–June 2, 2013.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Fatal Attraction: Piotr Uklański Selects from the Met Collection," March 17–June 14, 2015.
Uklański, Piotr. Piotr Uklański: Fatal Attraction. New York: Rizzoli International Publications, 2015. pp. 188–189.
Variant see: Retrospektive Fotografie - Martin Munkacsi, Bielefeld/Düsseldorf: Edition Marzona, 1980, pl.47.