Performing Dogs 1930’s, gelatine print by French photographer Brassai will be showing in our June exhibition – Home@735 Invitational. The exhibition will feature artworks from the Badger Fox Collection including works by Brassai, Lartigue, Kertesz, Max Dupain and Bill Henson. See part of the Badger Fox Collection at their online gallery at https://badgerandfoxgallery.com
Born Gyula Halász (9th September 1899 – 8th July 1984), the French photographer Brassai took his name from his hometown of Brassó in Transylvania – now Brasov in Romania. Brassai studied art at the academies of Budapest and Berlin before coming to Paris in the mid-twenties.
Brassaï’s love affair with Paris started at Montparnasse. The pulsating heart of art in Paris, the district was also known as one of its most colourful; its night-time population a kaleidoscope of petty criminals, hoodlums, streetwalkers and pleasure seekers. Brassaï’s first project seized the essence of nocturnal Paris in a series of grainy, textured pictures which set the basis for early street photography. Published in 1933 with the title ‘Paris de nuit’, this portfolio remains the most famous exploration of the city’s hidden underbelly and is considered a classic of early street photography. His series of photo-books of Paris graffiti have also been hugely influential.
One of the most renowned photographers of the interwar period, Brassaï’s reputation was built on contributions to both commercial and avant-garde photography. His long-time friend, the author Henry Miller, nicknamed him “The Eye of Paris” for his devotion to the city.
He was close to many artists including Dali, Picasso, Matisse and Giacometti – many of whom are portrayed in his collection ‘The Artists of My Life’ published in 1982. His relationship with Picasso produced many famous portraits of the artist, as well as important publications including ‘Conversations with Picasso’. The book is a compilation of the photographer’s diary entries in which the image of wartime Paris stands alongside unknown aspects of the personality of Picasso himself. Unable to wander the city streets under the curfew imposed by the German occupiers, Brassaï dedicated the early ‘40s to photographing the works of Picasso in his studio, creating a unique photo-chronicle of the artist’s creative output.