Tina Modotti at Jeu de Paume

The “Tina Modotti. L’oeil de la révolution” exhibit at Paris’ Jeu de Paume (until May 12, 2024) revisits this legendary femme extraordinaire with a large exhibition tracing her career from silent film actress and model to photographer to Communist activist. Modotti (Udine, Italy, 1896 – Mexico City, 1942) moved to Mexico with photographer Edward Weston in 1923 becoming part of the “Mexican Renaissance” and its thriving post-revolutionary culture. Joining the circle of artists and mural painters there, she quickly combined Weston’s formalism with her own personal vision. She joined the Mexican Communist Party (CPM) in 1927 and used her camera to denounce the plight of the poor, paying particular attention to conveying the experience of Mexican women. Continue reading “Tina Modotti at Jeu de Paume”

Julia Margaret Cameron Paris Exhibit

Taking a cellphone picture of Cameron’s 1868 photo of Hattie Campbell titled “The Echo”

“Capturer la beauté” (Arresting Beauty), the Julia Margaret Cameron exhibit at Paris’ Jeu de Paume, revisits the photography of one of the most important portraitists of the 19th century. Known for her soft-focus closeups of famous Victorians, sensitive portraits of women and children and poetic photo allegories, Cameron ranks among the most important photographers of the 19th century. After establishing herself among London’s cultural elite, Cameron formed her own salon frequented by distinguished Victorians at the seaside village of Freshwater, Isle of Wight. Her timeless and original body of work, created within just over a decade (between 1864 and 1875), is a major milestone marking the beginnings of photography (to January 28, 2024). Continue reading “Julia Margaret Cameron Paris Exhibit”

Henri Cartier-Bresson…the other coronation

“Pour voir le couronnement!” Ce Soir, 14 Mai 1937, detail, p10, collections Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson

The Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson in Paris is exhibiting Bresson’s photos of King George VI’s coronation in London on May 12, 1937. Having already spent several months working for the newly founded communist newspaper “Ce Soir,” Bresson was on site to cover the big event. First appearing in “Ce Soir,” the series was reprinted in the Communist Party’s monthly magazine “Regards.” bearing the title “Those Who Watched…” (to September 3rd, 2023). Continue reading “Henri Cartier-Bresson…the other coronation”

Gisèle Freund Revisited

Gisèle Freund’s 1933 photograph of Andre Malraux on a Paris rooftop wearing a trench coat with a cigarette dangling from his mouth is one of her most iconic pictures. It was one of many portraits she took documenting the Paris literati after fleeing Nazi Germany in the 1930’s. But in 1941 she had to flee again. This time from France to Buenos Aires. An exhibition “Ce Sud Si Lointain,” at the Maison de l’amérique latine featuring Gisèle Freund’s Latin American photographs, is an opportunity to discover another chapter in the life of this remarkable journalist-socialogist-photographer (until January 07, 2023). Continue reading “Gisèle Freund Revisited”

Arte Povera On Camera

Giuseppe Penone, “Rovesciare i propri occhi”

The times were a changin’ back in the sixties (as Bob Dylan famously sang). And in Italy, Arte Povera artists embodied that spirit of change using new materials and ideas that challenged how people thought about art. “Renverser Ses Yeux” (autour de l’arte povera 1960-1975) at Paris’ Jeu de Paume and a companion exhibition at Le Bal revisit those artists exploring new narrative possibilities for photography, video and film (until Jan 29, 2023). Continue reading “Arte Povera On Camera”

Zoe Leonard at Paris Modern

Over 500 photos by New York artist Zoe Leonard —mostly black and white— are exhibited at Paris’ Musée d’Art Moderne with her “Al Rio/To the River” exhibition (until January 29, 2023)

The documentary style photos revisit the fraught “build a wall” Rio Grande area, which  sets the boundary between the United States and Mexico. Sans “Bressonian” decisive moments and migrant mothers à la Dorothea Lange, these documents are closer to the cool gaze of surveillance cameras obiquitous in borderlands. Continue reading “Zoe Leonard at Paris Modern”

Workers of the World…

Around the working world in 80 photos is an exhibition titled “EtreS au Travail” (Beings at Work) displayed on the Luxembourg Garden fence along rue Médicis (until July 14, 2019). Large color photos mostly taken by Magnum photographers such as Steve McCurry, Marc Riboud and Martin Parr are accompanied by thought provoking captions written by labor specialists. The exhibition celebrates the centenary of the International Labor Organization (ILO). Continue reading “Workers of the World…”