Une collection. Maison européenne de la photographie
Directed by Jean-Luc Monterosso
In 1982, an elderly Brassaï wrote a letter to the mayor of Paris, Jacques Chirac, to thank him. Indeed, a French public institution had finally bought his photos! The Americans had started much earlier and even the French museums had already shown an interest in his drawings and paintings. But not his photographs. By tracing the genesis of a recent and emblematic collection, started in 1980, this book helps the reader measure the spectacular emergence of a discipline, which not long ago was still considered as merely documentary. The 21,000 snapshots at the Maison européenne de la photographie include the greatest names of the XXth century, from Cartier-Bresson to Bill Brandt, from Alvarez-Bravo to Irving Penn. But it also comprises mythical series such as the American by Robert Frank, or New York by William Klein, with a significant Japanese presence, up to the most recent tendencies in landscaping, in photo-journalism or still lives (the bombs and mines shot by Raphaël Dallaporta like objects of luxury on a black background. This is a sensitive and impressive reflection of our times.
Review published in the newsletter #398 - from 17 September 2015 to 23 September 2015