B. Romania , 1899-1984
One of the most renowned photographers of the interwar period, Brassaï, born Gyula Halász (1899-1984), enjoyed a natural affinity with Paris, revelling in the city’s rich atmosphere and photographic potential. The artist’s photographs of Parisian street scenes would later come to epitomise the Surrealist uptake and embodiment of the flâneur. Brassaï’s best known photographs come from the 1930s and depict the city’s nightly reverie and marginalised: sex workers, drinkers, pimps, and revellers, all taken in poor light, and filled with brooding atmosphere and implied narratives. In 1935, he joined the Rapho photographic agency, and quickly became internationally renowned for his images of Paris: a city that seemed the centre of all things artistic during the inter-war period. He was also a prolific writer, film-maker and sculptor.
In 1948, Brassai was invited to exhibit his photographs in a solo show at MoMA, New York. His work has been exhibited internationally in France, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and the United States, and is held in the permanent collections of SFMoMA, San Fransisco, LACMA, Los Angeles, MoMA, New York and the Pompidou Centre, Paris.
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