Francis Bruguière was born in San Francisco to a wealthy banking family and was privately educated. In 1905 he travelled to New York where he met and became friends with Frank Eugene and Alfred Stieglitz. Eugene encouraged Bruguière to investigate the aesthetic possibilities of photography, and Stieglitz accepted him as a member of the Photo-Secession, though Bruguière remained on the fringes of the movement.

Returning to San Francisco in 1906, Bruguière devoted himself professionally to photography, opening a portrait studio.

In 1919 he moved to New York and established a studio. He began photographing for Vanity Fair, Vogue, and Harper’s Bazaar. His interest in the theater led Bruguière to the Theater Guild, where he became the official photographer. In his personal work he continued experiments with multiple exposure images, eventually producing a body of work intended

for a film, The Way, in collaboration with the dancer Sebastian Droste. The film was never completed because of Droste’s death.

In 1928 Bruguière moved to London. Here he started a new series of abstractions and produced the first British abstract film, Light Rhythm. He also continued working in commercial photography incorporating contemporary design into his illustrations. Bruguière abandoned photography in 1937 to concentrate on painting and sculpture until his death in 1945.

Bibliographic Reference:

Enyeart, James. Bruguière: His Photographs and His Life. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1977.

The collection of photographs, negatives and ephemera span the years 1923-1937. Cut paper abstactions and other abstract images make up the majority of the holdings. Multiple exposures, solarization experiments (predominately nudes), still lifes, theatrical portraits and stage settings are also represented. Bruguière’s cliche vere prints, portraits of Bruguière, and reproductions of his paintings are also held in the collection.

With the exception of two prints purchased at auction in 1975 all Bruguière vintage prints were acquired in 1953 from Rosalinde Fuller, who was Bruguière’s companion and model. Original negatives were also acquired from Fuller. In 1986 James Enyeart donated 124 original Bruguière negatives and modern gelatin silver prints (ca. 1976-84) from the negatives.



A Kohlenstoff Records Trio

a closer listen

Last month, Montreal’s Kohlenstoff Records released a trio of experimental releases on the same day: new works from Liz Helman, Line Katcho and Ezequiel Esquenazi.  Each of these works has its own distinctive appeal.  This is no surprise from the label who recently brought us winning works from Adam Basanti and Maxime Corbell-Perron; the label continues to go from strength to strength.

The Truth InsideLondon-based artist Liz Helman has been active in installation and video work for the past decade, but The Truth Inside is her first album.  Her particular focus is on reflections of “dislocation and displacement,” which would make her music a perfect match to the writings of Andre Aciman (especially False Papers: Essays on Exile and Memory).  Her sounds are all over the map, pun intended: from field recording to drone, and on earlier recordings, a touch of synth and even industrial (“out of this world”).  It’s…

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