Masterpieces from the Sondra Gilman and Celso Gonzalez-Falla collection
Tuesday to Sunday, 11am - 6pm.
January 31, 2018 - May 6, 2018
Video by Messieurs.ch
The exhibition presents a selection of masterpieces from the history of photography, part of the collection of Sondra Gilman and Celso Gonzalez-Falla. Based in New York, it includes over 1500 original prints by some of the greatest photographers of the 20th and 21st centuries. Through visual confrontations, the visitor is invited to experience the power of the photographic line through these sublime works. The photographs by Bérénice Abbott, Eugène Atget, Robert Adams, Walker Evans, Vik Muniz, Man Ray and Lee Friedlander, among others, thus resonate, beyond their historical temporality and geographic considerations, by their formal correspondences.
Throughout history, photographers have always oscillated between two extremes: the mimetic illusion of reality and the enhancement of the esthetic qualities of the image. Whether it be “instantaneous lines”, according to the expression of Henri Cartier-Bresson, rational lines inspired from New Topographics, or the diversity of the curved lines of the human body, the line structures and sometimes reinvents the real – to the point of abstraction.
In the case of photography, spectators, even the most discriminating, often first observe the world that they are presented with. They scrutinize the face or the landscape, they marvel at the details, the fashionable clothes, the expressions on the children’s faces. In other words, they can forget that they are actually looking at a piece of paper, as flat as a page in a book or a drawing. Fascinated by the mimetic illusion, they might not even see the lines – straight, curved, oblique – that actually form the basis of the photographic composition.
By confronting works by artists such as Stéphane Couturier, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Lewis Baltz and Robert Adams, this section emphasizes the importance of the lines of force of the image and of the feelings that emerge when they are strictly parallel or, instead, at least in appearance, more spontaneous.
With works by Edward Weston, Bill Brandt, André Kertész, Robert Mapplethorpe, Léon Levinstein and Berenice Abbott, among others, this section shows that the curve defines all male and female bodies, photographed as a whole or in detail.
This section encompasses the photographs of Aaron Siskind, Minor White, Ray K. Metzker and Harry Callahan, whose reference to the real world disappears, initially revealing the lines of abstraction of the image.
Tatyana Franck, director, Musée de l’Elysée
Pauline Martin, curator, Musée de l’Elysée
Video by Messieurs.ch
The Beauty of lines. The Gilman and Gonzalez-Falla Collection
Published by Musée de l'Elysée and Scheidegger & Spiess
200 pages, 21x27
A single ticket gives you acces to all exhibitions at the Musée de l'Elysée.
CONQUISTADOR – NICOLAS SAVARY In the footsteps of Louis de Boccard, a Swiss explorer in the real world (1889-1956)
Conquistador is a photographic project built on the very dense archive of the life of Louis de Boccard (1866-1956), a Swiss man of the lower nobility of Fribourg, exiled in Argentina at the end of the 1880s and deceased in Paraguay in 1956. Nicolas Savary, a Lausanne photographer, fortuitously came into possession of this archive, first in Switzerland and then in Paraguay, as part of a research project during an artistic residency in South America in 2014.
Aires Mateus architects will design the Musée de l'Elysée of the future.
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