Fred Herzog, a Pioneer of Color Photography, Dies at 88
The world has lost another photography great this week. Fred Herzog, an early pioneer of color and street photography, died in Vancouver on Monday at age 88. Herzog started photographing in and around Vancouver in 1953, making images awash with vibrant color – complex, mysterious, exuberant, and full of life, much like the city he photographed. As David Campany noted in his introduction to the book Modern Color, Herzog "observed the grain of that city as it lived, worked, played, and changed . . . . Few other bodies of photography in the history of the medium have come close to the richness of Herzog’s extended city portrait."
"Fred Herzog was born in Stuttgart, Germany, in 1930, and immigrated to Canada in 1952. He worked as a medical photographer by day, but on evenings and weekends he took to the streets with his camera, documenting daily life as he observed it. Focusing his camera on storefronts, neon signs, billboards, cafes, and crowds of people, he eloquently depicts the architecture of the street as a framework for human interaction. Working in the 1950’s and 1960’s, Herzog was early in the field of color photography, at a time when most fine art photographers were producing only black and white imagery. His use of Kodachrome color slide film, however, limited his ability to make exhibition-quality prints. It was only with the advent of modern digital pigment printing techniques that he was finally able to print and exhibit this important body of early street photography." —Laurence Miller Gallery