Posts Tagged ‘Atget’

Preview: Marc Riboud and Eugene Atget at L. Parker Stephenson Photographs

In Black and White Photography, Exhibits, Gallerist, Gallery, Photo Print Collector on December 12, 2013 at 8:44 pm

Gd Trianon (Escalier), 1905 by Eugene Atget

The early 20th century, Frenchman Eugene Atget, set out to photograph the world beyond his home. In thirty years he had amassed a collection of Parisian architecture ranging from broad views to detail shots. Documenting architecture through the process of albumen prints, Atget’s work was lauded by surreal and modern artists of his day and his work is still revered to date.

Marc Riboud, another French photographer, has taken this documentary process even further – pressing beyond the boundaries of Paris and even beyond France to India and China. Documenting more of the country’s dramatic changes and rapid development than any other non-native photographer, Riboud’s focus shifted from people to the Huang Shan mountains and their mists which have inspired artists and poets alike for millennia.

November 22, 2013 – February 15, 2014

For more information: L. Parker Stephenson Photographs

Profiles in Black & White: Eugene Atget

In Black and White Photography, Photo Print Collector, Photographer on August 30, 2013 at 2:55 pm

A good photograph is like a good hound dog, dumb, but eloquent.”

-Eugene Atget


French documentarian Jean Eugene Auguste Atget was born on February 12, 1857 in Libourne, France. Orphaned at an early age, Atget was largely raised by his grandparents in Bordeaux until he became a seafarer on a merchant ship. Originally his dream had been to be an actor. But when his country drafted him into military service, his lack of attendance at his drama school led to expulsion. An infection of the vocal chords was the final nail in the coffin, forcing him to pursue different forms of art.

Unlike other photographers, Atget didn’t pursue the craft until he was in his thirties. Initially, after acting, his interests were in painting. When his career failed to show promise, he transformed once more, leading to the paintbrush being replaced with a camera. Photography was starting to see much expansion near the end of the 19th century, and so Atget joined the commercial field. According to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Atget equipped himself with a standard box camera on a tripod with 180×240 mm glass negatives. Like the focus of many of his pictures, Atget’s methods were anachronistic, often using techniques that had been cast adrift for the latest way to take and develop a photo.

Atget went against the grain of a time where soft-focus pictorialism was most popular. Rather, he was determined to document and capture things in a manner as straightforward and accurate a manner as possible. But beyond simply documenting the facts a photograph could represent, Atget sought to understand and interpret the lush and storied traditions of France’s culture. At a time where Western civilization was being flung into the depths of modernization, Atget’s photographs would become cherished for their time capsule of Paris’s architecture and street scenes.

Unfortunately for the Frenchman, he did not see the commercial success one might hope within their lifetime. For one who might describe himself as a commercial photographer, the buyers of such work did not find many of his photos to be worth of purpose. While he certainly had a niche following during his lifetime, most appreciation did not come until after his death, when Berenice Abbot acquired his estate; she first published much of his work. Ironically, Atget’s works would inspire many within the Surrealism medium of art, including Man Ray and Jean Cocteau. He was 70 years old at the time of his death in 1927.

Gallery of Atget photos: Eastman Archive

Notable: Through the Lens – Paris and London

In Article, Black and White Photography, Exhibits, Gallery, Photographer on October 3, 2010 at 2:10 pm


Eugene Atget, The Museum of Modern Art/Licensed by Scala, via Art Resource, NY; Ed Alcock for The New York Times

A terrific walk around the Paris of Atget is suggested by an article in the New York Times Travel section today, with a lot of history described through the lens of Atget.

Some of Atget’s loveliest photographs capture the grand homes that line the Seine, whether as the focus of a picture or as part of a broader setting in which they vie for attention with the trees and water.

At the foot of Île St.-Louis is the Hôtel Lambert with its big wooden doors and door knockers. Finished in 1644, it has been home to a number of wealthy Parisians, from the Rothschilds to the current owner: a Qatari prince who reportedly paid around $100 million three years ago to acquire it.

The Hôtel Lambert so dominates the Rue St.-Louis-en-l’Île that there is little room for other homes in Atget’s photographs of it, which lend the opulent property a majestic grandeur.

Read the article at: NYTIMES


James Barnor image from 1966

Some of the current offerings in London photography shows are described today in the Financial Times: Some snippets ..

At Autograph in London’s Rivington Place, the Ghanaian photographer James Barnor is presented in a charming exhibition which shows what well-directed public funding can do.

Covering a similarly wide range of a single artist’s trajectory is an exhibition at the Diemar/Noble gallery of the Mexican Manuel Alvarez Bravo. The show takes its title from a picture called "Quetzalcoatl", a landscape study in which a tree takes on the writhing twist of that snake deity.

At the more contemporary end of the scale is Native by photographer Mona Kuhn, which has transferred from Flowers in New York to its London gallery. Kuhn returned to Brazil after many years elsewhere to make a series purporting to examine the kind of life she might have had had she stayed.

O’Neill is a celebrity photographer and it is easy to think less of his work for that. So many photographers do no more than reproduce an "image" which has already been carefully crafted by marketing people and stylists, but in O’Neill’s prime he seems to have had a kind of snapper’s intimacy that defeated marketing control.

See the article: FT ARTS