Initially a painter who studied under Fernand Léger, Henri turned to photography in 1927 after attending a summer course at the Bauhaus with László Moholy-Nagy. The influence of both heritages is apparent in this powerful abstract image. Henri arranges smooth, industrially produced objects—a round ball and a metal grate—against mirrors to create a play of space and reflective surface. Simultaneously, she imbues her objects with stasis and poise that resonates with the universalizing impulse of Purism, a painting movement advocated and practiced by such artists as Léger, Amédée Ozenfant, and Le Corbusier, which sought to depict the simple, essential geometries of everyday objects.
Inscription: Inscribed in pencil on print, verso LR: "60"
Laszló Moholy-Nagy [?] to Arthur Siegel; [Edwynn Houk to Kicken]; [Rudolf Kicken to Waddell, November 19, 1982]; John C. Waddell
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. "Florence Henri, Artist-Photographer of the Avant-Garde," December 13, 1990–February 10, 1991.
New York Public Library. "A History of Women Photographers," October 19, 1996–January 4, 1997.
National Museum of Women in the Arts. "A History of Women Photographers," February 13, 1997–May 11, 1997.
Santa Barbara Museum of Art. "A History of Women Photographers," June 7, 1997–August 10, 1997.
Akron Art Museum. "A History of Women Photographers," September 6, 1997–November 2, 1997.
Smith College Museum of Art. "Bauhaus Modern," September 26, 2008–December 17, 2008.
Published as Composition with Mirror in The New Vision, page 89. JCW notes that provenance is according to Edwynn Houk.