In January 2016, the Musée de l'Elysée and Éditions Noir sur Blanc launched a new Collection of photobooks dedicated to the museum's exhibitions.
"Formalism is everything": Jan Groover's statement alone sums up the plastic ambition of a work that today embodies one of the key moments in the history of photography and the genre of still life. Conducted through constant and varied experimentation, his research focused on forms and their ability to transform the perception of the image. In the early 1970s, the photographer was noticed by the New York art scene for her polyptychs based on the motifs of the car and the urban environment. Around 1978, Jan Groover radically changed the subject to still life, which would form the main part of his later work. Defending the historical and technical importance of her work, the publication thus puts Jan Groover's work in perspective with the analysis of the archival fonds given by her husband, Bruce Boice, to the Musée de l'Elysée.
Over the course of four decades, Sondra Gilman and Celso Gonzalez-Falla have put together a collection of photographs that is widely recognized as among the World's most important private ones. Spanning the entire history of the medium, it lacks hardly any of the names that forged his history. It comprises some of the most famous masterpieces by artists such as Eugène Atget, Robert Adams, Walker Evans, or Robert Mapplethorpe as well as works by contemporary photographers such as Cindy Sherman, Hiroshi Sugimoto, or Thomas Struth.
Although the history of photography was built around prints, there were significant developments in slides from the last third of the nineteenth century, renewing the tradition of magic lanterns. Photographic projection offers a unique field of exploration involving a wide variety of forms, protagonists and places spanning a period of over one hundred and fifty years. Its history tells of the dissemination of knowledge, the quest for color and stereoscopy, the boom in amateur photography, and the medium’s integration into the contemporary art scene from the 1960s. Amateurs, professional photographers, publishers, artists, architects and designers have joined forces here to describe the specificities of the slide and show its impact on visual culture.
The representation of the mountain is an area in which photography has been extremely innovative. Contemporaneous with the conquest of the mountains, photography became a major role player in a field that was hitherto unknown, inventing the different forms of mountain landscapes that we know today. In areas as varied as science, tourism, alpinism and art, mountain photography imparts a sense of the awe and the sublime. Frontality, verticality, horizontality, aerial view and critical distance all structure this particular type of photography, which has never stopped reinventing itself from 1845 until today.
The artist Wojciech Zamecznik (1923–1967) was an influential figure on the postwar Polish art scene. The catalogue presents the multidisciplinary and experimental nature of Wojciech Zamecznik’s photographic work.
The Memory of the Future. Photographic Dialogues between Past, Present and Future strikes a chord between the works created by the pioneers of the first photographic processes and those of contemporary artists. From the revival of old techniques to the mise en abyme of historical works through contemporary reinterpretations, the aim of this catalogue is to present a counter-history of photography: timeless, that is to say, intervisual. Even if an image endures, the way we see it never ceases to evolve. In this way, the works of the future shed a new light on the masterpieces of the past through the prism of our contemporary perspective.
Helvetica is the first volume in the new “Collection – Musée de l’Elysée”, and illustrates Werner Bischof’s Swiss work. The previously-unpublished contact sheets he produced between 1932 and 1945 give an understanding of his taste for abstraction and form.