Brassai: Paris by Night

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Brassai: Paris by Night

Brassai: Paris by Night

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Yet it’s their deeply emotive, cinematic quality that transforms his subjects into characters with intergenerational appeal—none more so than the city of Paris itself. When 25-year-old Gyula Halász arrived in Paris from his native Hungary in 1924 he’d been trained as an artist and soon found his way into the circles frequented by Picasso, Miró, Dalí and Henry Miller. There, in 1932, he changed his given name, Gyula Halász, to a doctored version of his hometown’s name—his roots as a foreigner remained crucial to his vision and identity. My recollection, which may be wrong, of the earlier edition (probably from the 60s or 70s) is that it was printed on glossy paper, but one reviewer is of the opinion that the paper used here is more matte. I have included shortened (ellipsis) versions of the comments to them, which exists in the comments section of the book.

Thus, as well as a wonderful collection of very evocative images, the book can act as a reminder of the importance in engaging the intellect to make such images. One should think of it as amongst the best produced and influential photobooks ever” ( The Photobook, Vol. Brassaï's famous, exquisite portrait of Paris under cover of the night; of humanity as light beaming out of holes punched in the darkness, simultaneously standing out against and hiding within the evening gloom. Brassai was probably more responsible than most for generating the noir genre associated with Paris but that, I think, was a function of his equipment.I particularly like the quotation from Brassai himself at the beginning – I often feel that nothing is more surreal than reality (especially in these interesting times) and it is always comforting to know that others both now and in the past have felt the same.

Shooting at night was a technical challenge, and the photographs display an intriguing variety of light sources—gas lamps and their reflections in the Seine, a glowing brazier, the sparks of a workman’s grinding tool, a burning building with silhouetted firefighters, a checkerboard of lighted and dark windows on a facade.In the early 21st century, the discovery of more than 200 letters and hundreds of drawings and other items from the period 1940–1984 has provided scholars with material for understanding his later life and career. We’re looking at these views of 1930s Parisian society,” says Lehtinen, “but they’re also these incredible reflections on broader themes of community, labor, sexuality, gender, class, solitude…alienation, strangeness. You can change your choices at any time by visiting Cookie preferences, as described in the Cookie notice. The black-and-white photographs, printed on matte black pages, have a misty, dreamlike, almost magical look, a perfect match for their poetic content. Working as a journalist by day, by night he roamed the streets of the capital and visited its bistros, sharing moments in the lives of the prostitutes and peddlers, down-and-outs, and illicit lovers who lived on the margins of society.

  • Fruugo ID: 258392218-563234582
  • EAN: 764486781913
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