Faces Of The Day

Claire O’Neill admires the work of British photographer Bill Brandt, who captured “World War II-era social documentary, street scenes in England, where he lived, editorial portraits, [and] abstract female nudes”:

The Museum of Modern Art has taken on the task of distilling Brandt’s lifetime oeuvre into a comprehensive retrospective, which opened Wednesday. The exhibition’s catalog describes him as “the artist who defined the potential of photographic modernism in England for much of the twentieth century.” In that catalog, in the chapter about portraiture, Brandt himself is quoted as having said: “The photographer has to wait until something between dreaming and action occurs in the expression of the face.”

(Northumbrian Miner at His Evening Meal, 1937 by Bill Brandt. Courtesy of The Museum of Modern Art, John Parkinson III Fund. © 2012 Bill Brandt Archive Ltd.)