From Craft to Art
Robert Doisneau (19121994) is one of the most important representatives of humanistic photography. For many years he has been looked upon as the minstrel of picturesque Paris, with a charming eye and a unique sense of the unexpected visual anecdote. As a result he has been championed as a poet of the “pure” moment. Doisneau’s oeuvre is however much deeper and complex than that reputation suggests.
Contemplating his work as a whole, one discovers Doisneau’s pleasure in creating a language to capture the treasures of everyday life. The sensitivity and naturalism of his approach slowly reveal themselves: his images of the modest architecture of the Parisian suburbs for example display gravity, irony and even a degree of hard-heartedness.
The Fondation Cartier-Bresson has organized an exhibition of around 100 original prints from Doisneau’s estate. From Craft to Art, the catalogue for the upcoming exhibition, presents these treasures alongside a new version of Jean-François Chevrier’s essay, first published in 1983, which explores Doisneau’s rare ability to capture “the shining melancholy that separates an individual from the crowd”.
Co-published with Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson, Paris
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