French Photography of the 1930s and 1940s
Zabriskie Gallery exhibits French Photography from the Thirties and Forties from April 27 - June 4, 2004. Included in the exhibition are both legendary and lesser known French photographic artists: Laure Albin-Guillot (1879 - 1962) * Ilse Bing (1899 - 1998) * Édouard Boubat (1923 - 1999) * Pierre Boucher (1908 - 2000) * Marcel Bovis (1904 - 1997) * Brassaї (1899 - 1984) * Robert Doisneau (1912 - 1994) * Rémy Duvall * Izis (1911 - 1980) * Rene Jacques (1908 - 2002) * Pierre Jahan (1909 - 2003) * Andre Kertész (1894 -1985) * François Kollar (1904 - 1979) * Dora Maar (1907 - 1997) * Roger Parry (1905 - 1977) *Man Ray (1890 - 1976) * Emile Savitry (1903 - 1967) * Albert Séeberger (1914 - ?) * Roger Schall (1904 - 1989) * Maurice Tabard (1897 - 1984) * René Zuber (1902 - 1979)
Many of the works are drawn from the Zabriskie Gallery inventory, having been acquired directly from the artists during the twenty-three years (January 1977 - November 1998) that Galerie Zabriskie was open to the public on rue Quincampoix in Paris, France. This exhibition does not attempt to present a survey but rather represents the photographers that very often enjoyed first exhibitions at both Zabriskie Galleries in Paris and New York.
The images in the exhibition cover work from the early thirties with Brassaї's images of the Paris Opera to Séeberger's and Jahan's photographs of the liberation of Paris in the forties. Surrealist inspired images by Tabard, Boucher and Schall are included, along with portraits by Man Ray, Duval and Savitry. Quintessential street scenes of Paris by day and night are representative of images by Bovis, Brassaї, Jacques, Parry and Boucher. Large-scale studies of sculpture and architecture typify the work of Jahan.
Photography, particularly photography of the twenties, thirties and forties has been one of France's most extraordinary contributions to contemporary art. For French artists, this period was filled with the "modern" spirit of experimentation and innovation. A creative interchange existed between photographers, commercial photographers, painters, sculptors, film-makers and writers that informed the photographic work of this time. Aided by advanced camera equipment and developing processes, photographers looked to Cubism, Dada and Surrealism to guide their experiments. Photographers explored the mundane subjects of everyday life as well as investigating subjects considered sensational. Using unconventional angles, dramatic lighting effects and solarization, photographers created abstractions, distortions, multiple-exposures, montages and photograms, as they presented images that delved into the conscious and unconscious realms of thought and visual perception.
Works by these artists have been included in past one-person and group exhibitions at the Zabriskie Galleries in Paris and New York, among them: French Photography: The New Spirit 1925 - 1940, 1979; France Between the Wars: 1925 - 40 Photography and Sculpture, 1980, French Fashion Photography, 1980; French Photography 1945 - 1980, 1981 and 20th Century Photography: Paris - New York, 1991.