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Brassai (Gyula Halasz) - Parade D’Un Spectacle De Fete Foraine, Paris
Brassaï
Parade D’Un Spectacle De Fete Foraine, Boulevard Saint- Jacques, Paris
Silver Gelatin Photograph
1931, Printed c.1970's
9 3/8 X 11 3/4 inches
Signed lower right. Titled, dated and # 15/30 on the verso.
Brassai (Gyula Halasz) - Couple Au Bal Blomet, Paris
Brassaï
Couple Au Bal Blomet, Paris
Silver Gelatin Photograph
1931-32, Printed c.1970
11 1/2 x 8 7/8 inches
Stamped, titled, dated and numbered 16/30 on the verso.
Brassai - Introduction Chez Suzy, rue Grégoire-de-Tours
Brassaï
Introduction Chez Suzy, rue Grégoire-de-Tours, Paris
Silver Gelatin Photograph
1932, printed later
11 5/8 x 8 5/8 inches

Notation 'Pl. 362' in ink, stamped 'Tirage de l'Auteur' and copyright credit stamps on the verso.

Brassai - Deux Filles De Montmartre
Brassaï
Deux Filles De Montmartre
Silver Gelatin Photograph
1932
16 x 12 inches

Signed, titled, dated and numbered 11/30 on verso. Photographer's credit stamp on verso.

Brassaï (Gyula Halasz) - Untitled (Woman with Cat Mask)
Brassaï
Untitled (Woman with Cat Mask)
Early Silver Gelatin Photograph
1930s
11 1/2 x 8 Inches

Brassai's Rue du Faubrg hand stamp, a "Made in France" hand stamp and various notations in pencil (in an unknown hand) on verso.

Brassai - Fille De Joie Du Quartier Italien Dans Une Robe Printanière
Brassaï
Fille De Joie Du Quartier Italien Dans Une Robe Printanière
Silver Gelatin Photograph
1931, Printed late 1950s or early 1960s
11 x 8 1/4 inches

Ferrotyped, the photographer's studio, copyright, and 'Tirage de l'Auteur' stamps and with title, date, and numerical notations in pencil and ink on the reverse.

Un Bar Rue de Lappe (La Bastoche)
Brassaï
Un Bar Rue de Lappe (La Bastoche)
Early Silver Gelatin Photograph
c. 1932, Printed c. 1950s
11 7/8 x 8 1/2 inches

Signed in pencil and copyright credit stamp on verso.

Brassai - Couple faché au bal des Quatre-Saisons
Brassaï
Couple faché au bal des Quatre-Saisons
Silver Gelatin Photograph
Circa 1932; printed circa 1980
10 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches

Brassaï's signature and edition notation 23/30, in ink, on recto, and with his numeric notations, the partial title, and other notations, in ink or in pencil, in an unknown hand, the 81, Faubourg St-Jacques copyright hand stamp, and 2 other copyright hand stamps, on verso.

Brassai (Gyula Halasz) - Le 14 Juillet, Place De La Bastille, Paris
Brassaï
Le 14 Juillet, Place De La Bastille, Paris
Silver Gelatin Photograph
1934, Printed c. Late 1970's
11 7/8 x 9 3/8 inches
Signed, titled, dated and # 15/30 on the verso.
Brassai - Le Bal de Quatre-Saisons, Rue De Lappe
Brassaï
Le Bal de Quatre-Saisons, Rue De Lappe
Silver Gelatin Photograph
1932, Printed 1960's
9 1/8 x 11 5/8 inches
Signed, titled, dated and numbered 7/30 on the verso.
Brassai (Gyula Halasz) - Chez Suzy, En Attendant Le Client
Brassaï
Chez Suzy, En Attendant Le Client
Silver Gelatin Photograph
1932, Printed Later
11 5/8 x 9 inches
Signed, titled, dated and numbered 10/30 on the verso.
Brassai - Groupe d'Hommes, autour du "Zinc" dans un bistrot, Rue de Lappe
Brassaï
Groupe d'Hommes, autour du "Zinc" dans un bistrot, Rue de Lappe
Silver Gelatin Photograph
1932, Printed Later
8 1/4 x 11 inches
Signed lower right, titled and dated on verso
Henri Cartier-Bresson - New Orleans
Henri Cartier-Bresson
New Orleans
Silver Gelatin Photograph
1947
9 1/4 x 14 inches
Signed lower right on recto
Henri Cartier-Bresson - Hyde Park, London
Henri Cartier-Bresson
Hyde Park, London
Silver Gelatin Photograph
1937, printed later
9 1/2 x 14 inches

Signed in ink and copyright credit blindstamp in the margin.

Henri Cartier-Bresson - Henri Matisse, Vence, France
Henri Cartier-Bresson
Henri Matisse, Vence, France
Silver Gelatin Photograph
1944, printed circa 1970
image: 11 7/8 x 17 3/4 inches, paper 15 3/4 x 19 3/4 inches

Cartier-Bresson's signature, in ink, on recto.

Henri Cartier-Bresson - Siphnos, Greece (Girl on Stairs)
Henri Cartier-Bresson
Siphnos, Greece (Girl on Stairs)
Silver Gelatin Photograph
1961, printed Later
9 1/2 x 14 1/4 inches

Signed in ink by Cartier-Bresson on recto.

Henri Cartier-Bresson - Picnic on the Banks of the Marne
Henri Cartier-Bresson
Picnic on the Banks of the Marne
Silver Gelatin Photograph
1938, Printed Later
Image: 11 3/4 x 17 1/2 inches, Paper: 15 5/8 x 19 1/2 inches

Signed in margin on lower right recto.

Henri Cartier-Bresson - Seville
Henri Cartier-Bresson
Seville
Silver Gelatin Photograph
1933
11 x 14 inches

Signed in pen on print lower right.

Henri Cartier-Bresson, Seville
Henri Cartier-Bresson
Seville (boy, shadows)
Silver Gelatin Photograph
1933, Printed circa 1980
9 1/2 x 14 1/4 inches

Cartier-Bresson's signature, in ink, on recto.

Henri Cartier-Bresson| Three Juveniles, Montreal, Canada
Henri Cartier-Bresson
Three Juveniles, Montreal, Canada
Silver Gelatin Photograph
1964
9 1/2 x 14 1/4 Inches

Signed in ink lower right margin recto.

Henri Cartier-Bresson - Naples, Italy
Henri Cartier-Bresson
Naples, Italy
Silver Gelatin Photograph
1960, Printed 1980s
9 1/2 x 14 1/4 inches

Cartier-Bresson's signature, in ink, and his embossed copyright stamp on recto.

Henri Cartier-Bresson - Italy, Abruzze, Village of Aquila
Henri Cartier-Bresson
Italy, Abruzze, Village of Aquila
Silver Gelatin Photograph
1951, Printed 1980s
9 1/2 x 6 3/8 inches

Titled and artist's copyright stamp on verso.

Edouard Boubat - Lella, Bretagne
Edouard Boubat
Lella, Bretagne
Silver Gelatin Photograph
1947, printed in 1994
17 1/4 x 13 inches

Signed with ink in recto. Signed, dated, and titled with pencil on verso.

Edouard Boubat - Petite Fille aux Feuilles Mortes, Paris
Edouard Boubat
Petite Fille aux Feuilles Mortes, Paris
Silver Gelatin Photograph
1947, Printed in 1981
10 x 7 3/8 inches image, 16 x 12 inches paper

Signed by the artist in pencil on verso

Edouard Boubat - L'arbre et la Poule
Edouard Boubat
L'arbre et la Poule
Silver Gelatin Photograph
1950
11 X 14 7/8 inches
Signed, titled and dated in pencil on verso. Signed in ink on recto.
Edouard Boubat - Hommage au Douanier Rousseau, Paris
Edouard Boubat
Hommage au Douanier Rousseau, Paris
Silver Gelatin Photograph
1980, printed in 1992
11 3/4 x 17 inches

Signed with ink in recto. Signed, dated, and titled with pencil on verso.

Edouard Boubat - Les amoureux de Paris III
Edouard Boubat
Les amoureux de Paris III
Silver Gelatin Photograph
1962, printed in 1980
10 x 15 inches

Signed with ink in recto. Signed, dated, and titled with Pencil on verso.

Edouard Boubat - L'homme au caniche
Edouard Boubat
L'homme au caniche
Silver Gelatin Photograph
1953, printed in 1994
12 x 18 inches

Signed with ink on recto.

Edouard Boubat - Parc de saint Cloud
Edouard Boubat
Parc de saint Cloud
Silver Gelatin Photograph
1981, printed in 1994
17 1/2 x 11 1/2 inches

Signed with ink in recto. Signed, dated, and titled with pencil on verso.

Edouard Boubat - Paris 1947
Edouard Boubat
Paris 1947
Vintage Silver Gelatin Photograph
1947, printed in 1947
14 x 11 1/4 inches

Signed and dated on verso, vintage eb print 1947.

Edouard Boubat - Passerelle, Paris
Edouard Boubat
Passerelle, Paris
Vintage Silver Gelatin Photograph
1952, printed in 1952
12 x 9 inches

Signed, dated, and titled on verso, vintage eb print 1952.

Edouard Boubat - Les tables, Paris 1952
Edouard Boubat
Les tables, Paris 1952
Vintage Silver Gelatin Photograph
1952, printed in 1952
13 1/2 x 9 inches

Signed, dated, titled, and stamped on verso, vintage eb print 1952.

Edouard Boubat - La Bastille
Edouard Boubat
La Bastille
Vintage Silver Gelatin Photograph
1954, printed in 1954
10 3/4 x 15 1/2 inches

Signed, dated, and titled on verso, vintage eb print 1954.

Edouard Boubat - Les amoureux de Paris II
Edouard Boubat
Les amoureux de Paris II
Silver Gelatin Photograph
1982, printed in 1982
10 x 15 Inches

Signed, dated, and titled on verso

Edouard Boubat - Les amoureux de Paris IV
Edouard Boubat
Les amoureux de Paris IV
Silver Gelatin Photograph
1952, printed in 1982
14 1/8 x 9 1/4 inches

Signed, dated, and titled on verso.

Bresson | Brassai | Boubat

9/29/18 - 11/3/18

The first truly modern European photographer was Eugene Atget; renowned for portraying the city he loved, Paris. Paris became a stage set, waiting for human activity. The popularization of the handheld camera supplied some of the greatest French photographers the tools to follow in Atget’s tradition of embracing a “living city”. With a proclivity towards romance and a fondness for creativity, French “Humanist” photographers captured a landscape of seemingly ordinary moments that helped establish a mantra of recording life as it is lived. Through a narrative change in photography, from documentary photojournalism into a more cultural and natural aesthetic, these photographers ushered in a humanist vision of optimism and redemption for a more humane future following both world wars.

In the 1930’s and 40’s, Henri Cartier Bresson, Brassaï, and Edouard Boubat began to shoot in the street, recording their quotidian outings. These photographers would go on to be recognized for their images depicting spontaneity in the city; in parks, cafes, corners, and window-sills, their work portrayed an inspiring world that exposed the poetry in the ordinary. Energetic and empathetic, their work presented the spontaneity of children playing in ruins, patrons engaging in a bar, lovers walking the promenade or the playful smile of a passerby allowing the viewer to revel on the vulnerability of the human condition.

The Humanist movement in photography had begun to take hold before the Second World War and changed the dynamics of what was being pictured. Photographers who previously had been restricted by repressive conditions were now free to record the social and physical effects during and after the war, establishing a value for pictures of everyday life, and more so, allowing the pictures to be viewed as aesthetic and social art. They found that their often-candid photographs depicting common people had the power to encourage a sense of compassion and mutual dignity. All three photographers had known first-hand the horrors of war and were eager to move past its hardship and misery; Humanist photographs acted as visual atonements for the lack of warmth and decency experienced during the course of the war while also celebrating life and augmenting Paris’s rich visual history.

Henri Cartier-Bresson is one of the Humanist movement’s most iconic figures. His approach to photography maintained an appreciation for the human experience, “One must always take photos with the greatest respect for the subject and for oneself.” Bresson’s instinctive style and observational understanding had the ability to transmit a universal connection between the work and the viewer. His work of the 1930’s was often viewed as influenced by the surrealists but as the work developed it broke free of any stylistic framework. His candid portrayal of life provided a memorable collection of iconic photography.

Brassaï was more than a photographer; his work in sculpture, drawing, painting and, writing influenced his ability to look and therefore translate ideas into photography. His intimate photographs of Paris at night lets the viewer peer voyeuristically into the lives of the “belles de nuit” and other characters of nocturnal Paris. Brassaï’s images reveal a tenderness for the city and its residents; the city hallowed by its mystical streetlights at night, its residents comforted and unaffected in its interiors. The pictures present a historical account of an unseen Paris.

Edouard Boubat imparted his own poetic vision to the movement. With a start in printmaking as well as photojournalism, Boubat’s photography prioritized the significance of being present. Not only did his work offer an intrinsic desire to appreciate another individual’s perceived joy, it is this attitude which made the photographer’s work so moving: the desire to channel his photographic lens to align with a search for joy and acceptance, thus sharing a moment of bliss. “Some have invented eternity; I am simply a modern inventor. I play with the moment. Whoever finds a treasure, a treasure offered to everyone, becomes its inventor, its discoverer: a light-catcher.” A prime example is his series of work from Lella, which is a modern Pygmalion inspired love story; His photographic muse became his love and ultimately his wife.

These French masters aimed to demonstrate sentiments that characterized not only photographic acuity but a philosophy of humanity’s collective yearning for intimacy, dignity, and empathy. Their work became celebrated and collected for their focus on preserving the sanctity of human life and promoting a gratitude towards the value of our seemingly rudimentary and fleeting experiences.

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