Brassaï in America : 1957

Auteur : Agnès de Gouvion-Saint-Cyr

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En 1957, le photographe Brassaï est invité par le magazine Holiday pour réaliser un reportage sur New-York et la Nouvelle-Orléans. Lors de ce premier voyage aux Etats-Unis, l'artiste opère une modification radicale dans son style : il réalise ses premiers clichés en couleur et concentre son intêret sur la verticalité des gratte-ciel américains. ©Electre 2023

Many years before Brassaï would set foot in America, the highly acclaimed photographer of the 1930s Parisian nightlife had already established a long-term relationship with the United States. His close friendship and professional collaboration with Henry Miller, fellow photographer Edward Steichen, and editor-in-chief of Harper's Bazaar Carmel Snow had sown the seeds of a bond that could only become stronger when his work was formally introduced to the American public in 1951 at the MoMA exhibition Five French Photographers alongside Robert Doisneau, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Izis, and Willy Ronis. But it was only in 1957, when Holiday magazine gave him carte blanche to photograph New York and Louisiana, that he set his mind to cross the Atlantic at last.

Working in small format and color, as well as the black-and-white with which he is most frequently associated, Brassaï captured the intense urban life in American cities and the many new possibilities of shadow and light that so fascinated him. Still true to his distinctly sensual perspective, his fascination with women, and his playful hints at surrealism, Brassaï returned from this two month trip to America with these jubilant photographs, most of which have never before been seen in print.

A rare discovery of more than 150 previously unpublished photographs, in black and white and in color, from a legendary photographer.

From the first symbolic image of this voyage - the statue of Liberty appearing over the ship's prow - Brassaï came under the spell of America and his photographs innately conveyed his new perspective. In New York, he was captivated by the graphic skyscrapers and the rhythmic to-ing and fro-ing of the crowds. Unlike his static photographs of Paris - posing prostitutes, embracing lovers, sleeping street people - here he captured sequences of movement - children playing, fashionable women parading by, or the effects of light filtering through the urban architecture.

This exuberant study of 1950s America offers the reader unprecedented access to Brassaï's work including previously unpublished color photography.

In Louisiana, he continued to photograph more languorous sequences, but here he reveled in color - the copper skin of sunbathers, the pastel tones of prom dresses, the vibrant neon of amusement park attractions. His photographs of New Orleans music halls, night-life, and women recall scenes from 1930s Paris.

Fiche Technique

Paru le : 15/06/2011

Thématique : Ecrits sur la photographie

Auteur(s) : Auteur : Agnès de Gouvion-Saint-Cyr

Éditeur(s) : Flammarion

Collection(s) : Non précisé.

Contributeur(s) : Traducteur : Dusinberre

Série(s) : Non précisé.

ISBN : 978-2-08-020084-6

EAN13 : 9782080200846

Reliure : Broché

Pages : 168

Hauteur: 22.0 cm / Largeur 24.0 cm

Épaisseur: 2.3 cm

Poids: 1059 g