Aurel Bauh, Untitled, c. 1930
While America and France have long had their ups and downs, not a single US citizen can deny that the French have long had style and a profound love of the arts. Christian Bouqueret, who passed in 2013, was a prominent French art historian, curator and collector. His collection of vintage photography is truly a sight to behold, which is exactly what inspired Gitterman Gallery with its latest exhibit. Tom Gitterman considered Bouqueret to be a mentor and friend, which will make this exhibit particularly significant to the gallery.
Bouqueret was instrumental in rediscovering the work of many photographers during the interwar period. This exhibition will include work by many of those artists including: Aurel Bauh, Pierre Boucher, Roger Catherineau, Yvonne Chevalier, Laure Albin Guillot, Pierre Jahan, Francois Kollar, Eli Lotar, Daniel Masclet, Jean Moral, Roger Parry, Andre Steiner, Maurice Tabard and Ubac. Bouqueret “felt that people were always being shown the same images and there was a whole range of photographers who deserved attention.” He stated that: “I don’t look for obviously attractive images; I believe that beauty unveils itself and that mystery is a part of it.”
Christian Bouqueret became interested in the modernity of Bauhaus photography during his art history studies in Berlin. Bouqueret was co-director of Bouqueret-Lebon Gallery from 1990-1997, which represented both contemporary German and French photography. He published many catalogs during his lifetime, including Assia sublime modèle, Les Femme Photographes, and books on Daniel Masclet, Jean Moral, Roger Parry, André Steiner, Raoul Ubac, and René Zuber. Bouqueret’s seminal 1997 book, Des années folles aux années noires: La nouvelle vision photographique en France 1920-1940, which presented over seventy photographers from the period, won the Prix Nadar photography book award. Bouqueret curated 200 vintage prints from his collection for the 2009 Jeu de Paume exhibition entitled Paris capitale photographique 1920-1940: Collection Christian Bouqueret. In 2011 the Pompidou Centre acquired nearly 7,000 photographs from Bouqueret’s collection, which was considered one of the best privately-owned Modernist photography collections in France. The following year the Pompidou exhibited a selection of the collection and published an accompanying catalog titled Voici Paris: Modernités Photographiques, 1920-1950. As Andy Grunberg writes in the Jeu de Paume catalog: “what we know of the history of photography is a result or sum of what has been preserved, collected, exhibited and published.” Thanks to Christian Bouqueret, that history is richer.
The “Hommage” is now available for viewing and will run until January 21st, 2017.
For More Information: Gitterman Gallery