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Art History: Yousuf Karsh

March 15, 2011

                                 Georgia O’Keeffe by Yousuf Karsh, 1956

Since I have been thinking about figurative black and white photography, I could not help but think about Yousuf Karsh [1908 – 2002].  Karsh was noted for having a bolder style of portraiture, influenced by film noir.  I had seen a large show of his work at MAIC in 2009; Karsh had crossed paths with and made portraits for many famous to historic personalities.  Each portrait was both a document of the sitter’s image and a reflection of the sitter’s life and traits.

Look for books collecting the works of Yousuf Karsh or find images online.  I found a blog that pulled together many of his portraits here; although the sitters are not identified -the photographs are just strung together- you may enjoy this aspect and try to name as many people as you can.

If you set the way back machine to watch this old interview, Karsh lists painters as an influence on his work, having been directed to the works of Rembrandt, Velazquez and John Singer Sargent:

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