Music, books, exhibitions'…(: a look at the season’s highlights.
THE EGGLESTON TRANSITION
A tribute is being paid once again to the American king of colour photography, William Eggleston, in a new Paris exhibition. The theme is the transition between an initial black–and– white period and the spectacular conversion to full– colour photography, which has become the hallmark of this master of deserted Americana. It wasn’t until 1976, though, that the MoMa held the exhibition of William Eggleston’s work that proved to be a milestone in the history of photography, because it was the first to show pictures in colour. Making colour photography a legitimate form of art came late in the day, as if colour could only be associated with films, advertising and magazines: one had to guard against vulgarity, after all! Eggleston, a stylish, eccentric character, had blown the lock off the taboo with his perfect images that were as impressive as paintings.
(!Paris!), FONDATION HENRI CARTIER– BRESSON until 21st December 2014.
Born in New York in 1928 into an immigrant family of Hungarian Jews, William Klein would have loved to be around the flamboyant Americans partying in Paris’s Saint– Germain–des–Prés in the 1930s. He spent time at the Sorbonne, during his military service, which clearly bored him. However, he did meet Fernand Léger there. He was later noticed by the great Italian stage director, Giorgio Strehler, who exhibited his paintings in the corridors of his Piccolo Teatro in Milan. It was while Klein was photographing his own paintings of geometric figures for an architecture review that he first understood the interest in photography. The revelation led him to abandon the “noble” art of painting for the more direct medium, and gave him the strength of mind to break out of the frame and the eye of the lens. His reportage on New York commissioned by Vogue in 1954, which the editor refused to published, on the grounds that it was “too vulgar”, made the headlines when Chris Marker turned it into a legendary album for French publishers, Seuil. The rest is history. Klein’s work is in perpetual motion, in his photos, films and documentaries, which include Muhammad Ali, the Greatest (&1969&), Grands soirs et petits matins (&1978&) and Who are you, Polly Maggoo? (&1966, Prix Jean–Vigo&). Arte has brought his complete works together in a 10–DVD boxed set.
HEDI SLIMANE, PHOTOGRAPHER
—Hedi Slimane was appointed creative director of Saint Laurent in 2012, by which time he was already one of the biggest stars in the fashion world. But he is also very much an all–round artist, whose inspiration is breathtaking on all fronts, including photography, one of his passions. He is currently showing a selection of his rock photos at the Pierre Bergé–Yves Saint Laurent foundation. Black–and–white prints of a number of studio portraits — including giants such as Lou Reed, Brian Wilson, Amy Winehouse and Keith Richards — have been chosen from 15 years of archives and are on show for the first time. A video installation completes the Hedi Slimane Sonic show, which juxtaposes musical periods, London ( & 2003–2007 & ) and California (&2007–2014&), in a documentary format, painting the portrait of two generations of performers and their fans.
FONDATION PIERRE BERGÉ — YVES SAINT LAURENT (!Paris!), until 11th January 2015.