Archive for September 12th, 2013


Exhibition: ‘French Twist: Masterworks of Photography from Atget to Man Ray’ at the Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington, DE

Exhibition dates: 29th June – 15th September 2013


C’est magnifique!


Many thankx to the Delaware Art Museum for allowing me to publish the photographs in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.



Ilse Bing (1899-1998) 'Cancan Dancers' Moulin Rouge 1931


Ilse Bing (German, 1899-1998)
Cancan Dancers

Moulin Rouge 1931
Gelatin silver print
6 1/4 × 9 in. (15.9 × 22.9cm)
Collection of Michael Mattis and Judith Hochberg
© Estate of Ilse Bing. Courtesy Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York


Ilse Bing (German, 1899-1998) 'Champ-de-Mars from the Eiffel Tower' 1931


Ilse Bing (German, 1899-1998)
Champ-de-Mars from the Eiffel Tower
7 1/2 x 11 inches
Collection of Michael Mattis and Judith Hochberg
© Estate of Ilse Bing, Courtesy Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York


Ilse Bing (1899-1998) 'Boarding House for Young Women, Tours' 1935


Ilse Bing (German, 1899-1998)
Boarding House for Young Women, Tours
Gelatin silver print
11 1/8 × 7 1/2 in. (28.3 × 19.1cm)
Collection of Michael Mattis and Judith Hochberg
© Estate of Ilse Bing. Courtesy Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York


Brassaï (1899-1984) 'Lovers, Bal Musette des Quatre Saisons, rue de Lappe' c. 1932


Brassaï (French, 1899-1984)
Lovers, Bal Musette des Quatre Saisons, rue de Lappe
c. 1932
9 3/8 x 7 inches
Collection of Michael Mattis and Judith Hochberg
© The Brassaï Estate-RMN



In the early 20th century, between the two world wars, Paris saw a fervour of change. From 1910 to 1940, the city became a creative epicentre for artistic exploration, attracting international avant-garde artists – including photographers experimenting with Surrealism, Modernism, and the new reportage. French Twist: Masterworks of Photography from Atget to Man Ray, on view at the Delaware Art Museum from June 29, 2013 through September 15, 2013, features 100 vintage prints from this golden age of French photography and explores the variety and inventiveness of native and immigrant photographers working in France in the early 20th century.

This exhibition presents a number of themes that capture the flavour and nightlife of Paris at this exciting moment. “Life of the Streets,” “Diversions,” and “Paris by Night” are just some of the topics that these masterful photographs explore. Visitors will experience Eugène Atget’s lyrical views of Paris streets and gardens, Man Ray’s surrealist experiments, and Henri Cartier-Bresson’s pioneering photojournalism, as well as works by Ilse Bing, Brassaï, Jacques-Henri Lartigue, André Kertész, and Dora Maar. Many of these artists settled in France for life, while others, fleeing the Nazis, brought their Paris‐trained sensibilities and influences to America.


Eugène Atget

The exhibition opens with one of the most significant figures in the history of photography, Eugène Atget, whose work influenced a range of artists from Surrealists to documentary photographers. This selection encompasses pictures of city streets, architectural details, and the gardens at Versailles and includes one of his most famous photographs, Boulevard de Strasbourg, Corsets (1912).


La vie de la rue (Life of the Street)

This section includes images of the streets and buildings of Paris – of the bustling Champ-de-Mars and the deserted Avenue du Maine – and features a large selection of photographs by Ilse Bing. In her modernist views of urban architecture, Bing provides a modern take on the old city through unexpected angles and dramatic cropping.


Divertissement (Diversions)

Divertissement focuses on the myriad amusements available in the City of Lights. Lartigue provides an insider’s view of upper-class life in the Belle Epoque, while Bing and Brassaï chronicle the attractions of the dance hall, the theater, and the street.


Henri Cartier-Bresson

The master of the “decisive moment” and one of the most significant photojournalists of the 20th century, Henri Cartier-Bresson is featured along with 17 famous photographs from his travels around the world. This section includes his stellar images of the Spanish Second Republic and his iconic view of the coronation of George VI in London.


Les basses classes (The Lower Classes)

Between the wars, photographers from Ilse Bing to Andre Kertész to Brassaï chronicled lives of poor Parisians, often bringing a Modernist sensibility, rather than a reformer’s eye, to scenes of urban poverty.


Paris de nuit (Paris by Night) 

In 1933 Brassaï released his photo book Paris by Night, which chronicled the city’s streets and amusements after dark. The book became an immediate success and Brassaï became famous as the foremost photographer of the city’s bars and brothels, performers, and prostitutes.


L’art pour l’art (Art for Art’s Sake)

This section focuses on the technical experimentation and virtuoso technique of photographers including Pierre Dubreuil, Edward Steichen, and Pal Funk Angelo. It features examples of unusual techniques like cliché-verre, solarisation, and oil printing.

Cliché verre is a combination of art and photography. In brief, it is a method of either etching, painting or drawing on a transparent surface, such as glass, thin paper or film and printing the resulting image on a light sensitive paper in a photographic darkroom. It is a process first practiced by a number of French painters during the early 19th century. The French landscape painter Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot was the best known of these. Some contemporary artists have developed techniques for achieving a variety of line, tone, texture and colour by experimenting with film, frosted Mylar, paint and inks and a wide assortment of tools for painting, etching, scratching, rubbing and daubing.

Cliché verre is French. Cliché is a printing term: a printing plate cast from movable type; while verre means glass. (Text from Wikipedia)


Andre Kertész, Dora Maar, Man Ray

These three important photographers – all immigrants to Paris between the Wars and all involved in Surrealist movement – are featured in individual sections that highlight their most famous works. Kertész is represented by his photographs of the painter Piet Mondrian’s studio. Maar’s Surrealist street photographs capture her dark humor, and a full complement of Man Ray’s experimental and psychologically charged images summarize his photographic interests.


La figure (Portraits and Nudes)

La Figure showcases experimental approaches to the classic subject of the female nude, including a cameraless photograph and a solarisation by Man Ray and a distortion created with fun-house-type mirrors by Kertész.

Ilse Bing (German, 1899-1998), nicknamed the “Queen of the Leica” after her camera of choice, moved to Paris in 1930 and immersed herself in its cultural milieu, interacting with painters like Pavel Tchelitchev and fashionistas Elsa Schiaparelli and Carmel Snow. The decade she spent in France is considered the high point of her artistic career.

Dora Maar (French, 1907-1997) created startlingly imaginative Surrealist photographs under the tutelage of Man Ray. However, she is best known as Picasso’s lover, muse, and “Weeping Woman” from 1936 to 1943. Her photographs documenting Picasso’s creation of Guernica hang alongside the painting in the Reina Sofía museum in Madrid.

JacquesHenri Lartigue (French, 1894-1986), considered by many to be a child prodigy, received his first camera as a gift when he was six years old and immediately set to work documenting the activities of his energetic family and circle of friends. Lartigue’s light‐hearted snapshots capture the essence of France’s Belle Époque, the halcyon period before World War I when it seemed that modernity would bring nothing but progress and delight.


Eugène Atget (French, 1857-1927) 'Boulevard de Strasbourg Corsets' 1912


Eugène Atget (French, 1857-1927)
Boulevard de Strasbourg Corsets
Printing-out paper
8 3/4 x 7 inches
Collection of Michael Mattis and Judith Hochberg


Eugène Atget (1857-1927) 'Rue Egynard' 1901


Eugène Atget (French, 1857-1927)
Rue Egynard
Albumen print
8 1/4 × 7 in. (21 × 17.8cm)
Collection of Michael Mattis and Judith Hochberg


Man Ray (1890-1976) 'Solarized nude' 1930


Man Ray (American, 1890-1976)
Solarized nude
11 5/8 x 8 7/8 inches
Collection of Michael Mattis and Judith Hochberg
© 2013 Man Ray Trust / Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY / ADAGP, Paris


Edward Steichen (1879-1973) 'Three Pears and an Apple, Voulangis, France' 1921


Edward Steichen (American, 1879-1973)
Three Pears and an Apple, Voulangis, France
Gelatin silver print
14 x 11 inches
Collection of Michael Mattis and Judith Hochberg


Man Ray (1890-1976) 'Kiki de Montparnasse' 1923


Man Ray (American, 1890-1976)
Kiki de Montparnasse
11 x 8 3/4 inches
Collection of Michael Mattis and Judith Hochberg
© 2013 Man Ray Trust / Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY / ADAGP, Paris


Brassaï (French, 1899-1984) 'Fille de Montmartre playing Russian billiards, Blvd Rochechouart' 1932-33


Brassaï (French, 1899-1984)
Fille de Montmartre playing Russian billiards, Blvd Rochechouart
11 1/4 x 8 1/4 inches
Collection of Michael Mattis and Judith Hochberg
© The Brassaï Estate-RMN



Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE 19806

Opening hours:
Wednesday, Friday – Sunday 10.00am – 4.00pm
Thursday 10am – 8pm
Closed Monday and Tuesday

Delaware Art Museum website


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Dr Marcus Bunyan

Dr Marcus Bunyan is an Australian artist and writer. His art work explores the boundaries of identity and place. He writes Art Blart, an art and cultural memory archive, which posts mainly photography exhibitions from around the world. He holds a Doctor of Philosophy from RMIT University, Melbourne, a Master of Arts (Fine Art Photography) from RMIT University, and a Master of Art Curatorship from the University of Melbourne.

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