WILLIAM MORTENSEN (1897 - 1965)

 

THE WORKS OF WILLIAM MORTENSEN WERE FEATURED AT SCOPE ART FAIR NEW YORK

MARCH 2 - 5 2017 AT THE METROPOLITAIN PAVILLION

 

 

Newly available works, please inquire for pricing.

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"The Anatomy Student" c. 1925 An early William Mortensen masterpiece.

"The Veiled Woman" c. 1924 An early William Mortensen masterpiece.

Untitled Demon w Woman c. 1924 An early William Mortensen masterpiece.

"Th Old Hag" (with Demon Mask) c. 1924 An early William Mortensen masterpiece.

"Salome" 1924 An early William Mortensen masterpiece.

 

 

 

 

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The works of WILLIAM MORTENSEN were also featured at the 25th annual OUTSIDER ART FAIR.

 

William Mortensen at the 25th Outsider Art Fair in New York 2017 Stephen Romano Gallery's booth.

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The works of WILLIAM MORTENSEN were also featured

at Morbid Anatomy Museum in the exhibition "OPUS HYPNAGOGIA" in Brooklyn NY July - October 2015.

 

Stephen Romano, Joe Coleman and the works of William Mortensen at Morbid Anatomy Museum 2015

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William Mortensen was also featured in a one person exhibition at

STEPHEN ROMANO GALLERY BROOKLYN NY OCTOBER 15 - NOVEMBER 30, 2014 .

read the review by Claire Voon in Hyperallergic

http://hyperallergic.com/157037/william-mortensen/

 

Selected Works:

 

"The Initiation of a Young Witch" c. 1924 sold.

 

"The Old Hag" c. 1924 sold

 

Untitled c. 1924 sold

 

"L'Amour" c. 1930 sold

 

 

"Hebe" c 1924 sold

 

"Monk with Nuded Woman" c 1924 on reserve

 

 

"Asleep" c. 1942 sold

 

"Morroco" (also titled "The Slave Girl" c 1945 sold

 

"SALOME" c. 1940 sold

 

"Woman With Skul" c. 1924 sold

 

PORTRAITS OF MONA MARIS

Five (5) gelatin silver matte double-weight 11 in. x 14 in. (one borderless 10 1/2 in. x 13 1/2 in.)

master prints with stenciled screen of Mona Maris by William Mortensen.

The only master set test sequence of a single pose in the Mortensen archive. From the personal collection of William Mortensen.

 

 

FEATURED IN:

 

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Witches and Peasants by Eve Khan

 

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William Mortensen's 20th Century Photos Are

Some Of The Most Beautifully Terrifying Images Ever Made

 

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"A Pictorial Compendium of Witchcraft" July 2014
"Monsters and Madonnas" August 2014

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William Mortensen was featured in the exhibition "Manipulated Photography before Photoshop" At the Metropolitan Museum of Art New York until January 27 2013 and the National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. February 17 - May 5, 2013, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, June 2 - August 25th.

William Mortensen was featured in the exhibition "Secession Secession" organized by Colby Bird at the Fitzroy Gallery in New York in May 2013

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William Mortensen
Untitled c 1926 - 1927
from the series "A Pictorial Compendium of Witchcraft"

 

sold

William Mortensen
The Mark of the Borgia, ca. 1930

 

sold

 

William Mortensen
Chained Nude With Monk c 1926 - 1927
from the series "A Pictorial Compendium of Witchcraft"

sold

 

William Mortensen
Nude with Demonc 1926 - 1927
from the series "A Pictorial Compendium of Witchcraft"

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click on images to enlarge

 

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William Mortensen (1897 - 1965) was an American Photographer, primarily known for his Hollywood portraits in the 1920s-1940s in the pictorialist style.

"Ansel Adams called him ‘the Antichrist’ and wanted him written out of history. But William Mortensen’s grotesque photographs of death, nudity and torture and are now having their day..
..Mortensen’s methods often made it hard to distinguish whether the results were photographs or not. He used traditional printmaking techniques, such as bromoiling, and developed many of his own. He would create composite images, scratch, scrape and draw on his prints, then apply a texture that made them look like etchings, thereby disguising his manipulations. Consequently, every print was unique. Ultimately, Mortensen’s aim was to create something that, for all intents and purposes, appeared to be a photograph, yet portrayed scenes so fantastic they caused wonder and astonishment in the viewer.


..His love of the fantastic and the grotesque was, then, partly an outward expression of his love to shock, but it had another purpose: by giving form to such emotions as fear and hatred, Mortensen, a Christian Scientist, believed “we are enabled to lessen their power over us”. He added: “When the world of the grotesque is known and appreciated, the real world becomes vastly more significant.”
..It was these kinds of ideas that so angered Adams and his Group f/64 brethren devoted to photography that depicted a pure, unmediated reality. This began a spirited debate with Mortensen within the pages of the magazine that became ever more vitriolic. However, Adams did not stop there, suggesting in a personal letter to Mortensen that he “negotiate oblivion”. When fellow photographer Edward Weston wrote telling of his excitement at photographing a “fresh corpse”, Adams replied: “My only regret is that the identity of said corpse is not our Laguna Beach colleague.”


..The critics Beaumont Newhall and his wife Nancy held the same view: Beaumont consciously excluded Mortensen from his grandiosely titled 1949 book The History of Photography, From 1839 to the Present Day. Their distaste would not even allow them to acknowledge Mortensen’s mastery of his craft. Ultimately though, for all the griping of Adams and f/64, it turns out that Mortensen was the true modernist all along, not them. For today, we are surrounded by images of the fantastic and unreal.

PULSE ART FAIR NYC 2013
Mortensen, Oddfellows Angels, Kris Kuksi, Cellarius at METRO SHOW NEW YORK Jan 2013.

 

William Mortensen, METRO SHOW NEW YORK Jan 2014. sold

Charles Dellschau, William Mortensen, METRO SHOW NEW YORK Jan 2014.

 

William Mortensen The Command To Look

PDF version

A Pictorial Compendium of Witchcraft

WILLAIM MORTENSEN 1897 - 1965

published by Stephen Romano Gallery 2014

PDF version

 

 

Monsters and Madonnas a book of methods

WILLIAM MORTENSEN

PDF version