Show of photos by French mastersIf the Beatles represent 20th century pop music, eight photographers currently showing at Gallery Lumiere do the same for modern French photography. Until October 29, the gallery in southern Seoul that specializes in photography will hold its “Masterpieces of French Photography” exhibition, showcasing around 100 photographs by Willy Ronis, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Eugene Atget, Robert Doisneau, Man Ray, Jacques-Henry Lartigues, Emile Savitry and Izis.
The exhibition aims not only to display the artistic value of these photographs in a historical light but also the market feasibility and an opportunity for collectors in Korea to invest in these original photographs, which are rarely shown in such a scale in Korea.
The gallery organized the exhibition as a celebratory collection commemorating the 120th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Korea and France. According to the gallery, amidst the rising interest in art funds and art collecting in the country, these photographs will present works that are difficult to come across, even in top auction houses such as Christie’s and Sotheby’s.
To mark the mourned death of Henri Cartier-Bresson in August 2004, the gallery held an exhibition of 13 works by the acclaimed photographer in which more than 5,000 visitors came to see his works. Born in Chanteloup-en-Brie, France, he got involved with photography while traveling through Africa in 1931. He was recognized as a master of photojournalism for his coverage of Gandhi’s funeral in 1948. Upon publication of his 1952 book, “The Decisive Moment,” featuring 126 photographs, his photography started to broaden its scope beyond documentary photographs.
Another photographer featured in the exhibition, Willy Ronis, is considered one of the most influential French photographers, along with Henri Cartier-Bresson and Robert Doisneau, of the last century. He was involved with collaborations with American photographers including Alfred Stieglitz and Edward Steichen and in 1979 was awarded the Grand Prix des Arts et Lettres for photography by the French ministry of culture. His works show France ― its everyday life on the streets, families, nature, workers, and nudes, through a traditional analog method of photography and encase a warm affection toward its subjects.
by Cho Jae-eun
The exhibition “Masterpieces of French Photography” is running until October 29. Gallery hours are from 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. and is open everyday except for Mondays. It is located south of the Galleria Department Store in Apgujeong-dong. For more information, visit the Web site, www.gallerylumiere.com or call (02) 517-2134.