Florence Henri (28 June 1893, New York City – 24 July 1982, Laboissière-en-Thelle) was a surrealist artist; primarily focusing her practice on photography and painting, in addition to pianist composition. In her childhood, she traveled throughout Europe, spending portions of her youth in Paris, Vienna, and the Isle of Wight . She studied in Rome, where she would encounter the Futurists, finding inspiration in their movement. From 1910 to 1922, she studied piano in Berlin, under the instruction of Egon Petri and Ferrucio Busoni. She would find herself landlocked to Berlin during the first World War, supporting herself by composing piano tracks for silent films. She returned to Paris in 1922, to attend the Académie André Lhote, and would attend until the end of 1923. From 1924 to 1925, she would study under painters Fernand Léger and Amédée Ozenfant at the Académie Moderne. Henri's most important artistic training would come from the Bauhaus in Dessau, in 1927, where she studied on masters Josef Albersand László Moholy-Nagy, who would introduce to the medium of photography. She returned to Paris in 1929 where she started seriously experimenting and working with photography up until 1963. Finally, she would move to Compiègne, where she concentrated her energies on painting until the end of her life in 1982. Her work includes experimental photography, advertising, and portraits, many of which featured other artists of the time.
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She was Swiss, but born in New York of a French father and German mother. She spent her childhood in Paris, Vienna, and the Isle of Wight. She came into contact with the Futurists in Rome, and in Berlin she studied the piano with Egon Petri. In 1927 Henri studied painting and photography under László Moholy-Nagy at the Bauhaus, (Dessau, Germany). In 1928 Henri moved to Paris where she established a studio where she practiced advertising and portrait photography. She also taught photography in Paris until 1963, when she abandoned photography for painting.
Swiss, American, Parisian, French, German
Artist, Teacher, Painter, Photographer
Florence Henri
Information from Getty’s Union List of Artist Names ® (ULAN), made available under the ODC Attribution License

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