Most of Louis Faurer’s (1916-2001) photography career was spent producing fashion photographs for such magazines as Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue and Mademoiselle. But we remember him now mostly for his early street photography taken in the forties and early fifties. These photos are currently exhibited in Paris at the Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson (until December 18, 2016).
Faurer’s black and white documentary style photos are impressive for their honesty. Commenting on them Nan Goldin once said “Some people believe again that photography can be honest” He refused the excessiveness of violent scenes which he felt might humiliate his subjects. With his pictures one feels a sympathy to the people he is photographing. He experimented with blur, overlaid negatives and graininess creating an edgy personal style.
The exhibition at HCB focuses on Faurer’s black and white photos of Philadelphia and New York City. Describing his early photography he said: “1946 to 1951 were important years. I photographed almost daily and the hypnotic dusk light led me to Times Square… I was to meet Robert Frank at the Bazaar Studio. Since I was a commuter, he invited me to stay at his loft together with nine cats. He had recently arrived from Switzerland and was alone… Several nights of photographing in that area and developing and printing in Robert Frank’s dark room became a way of life.”
The exhibition includes clips from the photographer’s rare black and white 16mm silent film “Time Capsule.” And as a nod to Faurer’s fashion work the exhibition also shows one of the photographer’s elegant French Vogue photos.
Louis Faurer, to December 18, 2016, Fondation Henri Cartier Bresson, 2, Impasse Lebouis, Paris 75014.