Title: BRASSAI ; THE EYE OF PARIS
Publisher: ABRAMS, USA
Publication Date: 2000
Book Condition: Near Fine
Dust Jacket Condition: Issued Without DJ
Edition: 1st Edition
BOOK, NEAT REMAINDER MARK ON BOTTOM EDGE. Bookseller Inventory # 006996
Synopsis: Offers a profile of the French photographer and gathers a selection of his works from a 1999 exhibition.
Review: Brassaļ: The Eye of Paris is both the catalog of an exhibition of Brassaļ's photographs organized by the Houston Fine Arts Museum and a valuable biography of the artist. In 1932, only three years after he purchased his first camera (a Leica), Brassaļ published a portfolio of 64 photos titled Paris by Night that caused an immediate sensation. His lively eye (seen in an enigmatic photograph at the beginning of the book) captured fresh, unique images of the city and its citizens. Fascinated by the underworld, he moved easily among gangsters and prostitutes in bars and bordellos; he was equally at home among the fashionable and wealthy, and just as devastating in his depiction of them. He used magnesium flares for low-contrast shadows, catching his subjects in natural poses at significant moments. The wide range of Brassaļ's work is suggested by his formal nudes, which have an affinity with Edward Weston's, and his informal portraits, which remind viewers of Diane Arbus, who admired his work. Brassaļ was a central figure in the intellectual and artistic circles of Montparnasse that made Paris the most exciting city in the world during the 1930s. In a long essay that includes lively anecdotes of the photographer's relationships with Picasso, Henry Miller, Kertesz, and many other luminaries, the author re-creates the aesthetic and philosophical ferment of the period. Brassaļ: The Eye of Paris recognizes the artist's talents in five different media--photography, filmmaking, sculpture, writing, and drawing--but focuses on what he is best known for: lyrical and penetrating photographs of the City of Light. --John Stevenson
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