Nathan Lerner (1913-1997): Photographs

1 Sep - 22 Dec 2018

Berlin DE


Nathan Lerner
American, 1913-1997

Press Text

Galerie Berinson will be exhibiting about 15 works by photo artist and designer Nathan Lerner. These are the original photographs from Nathan Lerner’s first solo show in 1973 at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois, USA. On the occasion of this exhibition Lerner made large prints of motifs, which he made during his studies at the New Bauhaus in the late 1930s.

At the age of 18, Lerner was a student of the Russian-French painter Samuel Ostrovsky at the Art Institute of Chicago and later engaged in photography. In 1935 he made a series on the immigrant neighborhood „Maxwell Street“.
On recommendation of Alexander Archipenko Lerner attended the school of the New Bauhaus in Chicago as from 1937 which was founded by László Moholy-Nagy. He studied i.a. with Gyorgy Kepes, became his assistant in 1939, and developed artistic photographic experiments, such as the light box. Lerner’s trademarks are light installations and light drawings. From 1939 to 1942 Lerner taught at the New Bauhaus and was dean from 1945 to 1949.

In 1949, Lerner left the Institute of Design and opened a design office together with the emigrated Hin Bredendiek (Lerner-Bredendiek Design, later Lerner Design Associates). Until 1973, Lerner successfully devoted himself to the design of everyday objects (e.g., Roll-on deodorant, nail-polish bottle with brush, shoe polish applicator, honey bear container).

Since 1968 he was married to the Japanese pianist Kiyoko Asai.
In 1973, Nathan and Kiyoko Lerner discovered the artistic work of today’s leading representative of Outsider art, Henry Darger (1892-1973), to whom they rented an apartment in Chicago as from 1932 for about 40 years, and took care of his estate.