Brassaï

French, born Hungary, 1899–1984

1.5k followers

Brassaï

Bio

French, born Hungary, 1899–1984

Followers
1.5k
Biography

Whether a couple embracing in a seedy nightclub, a prostitute flaunting herself under a streetlight, or a huddle of petty criminals under an otherwise abandoned bridge, Brassaï found poetry in the derelict. “The thing that is magnificent about photography is that it can produce images that incite emotion based on the subject matter alone,” he once said. Best known for photographing candid night-time scenes in the Montparnasse district of Paris—an area populated with artists, streetwalkers, petty criminals, and prostitutes (subjects that initially scandalized the public)—Brassaï was dubbed the “eye of Paris” by his friend, the American writer Henry Miller. Originally born Gyula Halász, he later acquired the pseudonym Brassaï after his Hungarian hometown Brassó and made an international name for himself with books such as Paris de nuit (Paris After Dark) (1933) and Voluptés de Paris (Pleasures of Paris) (1935), in which he captured both the seedier sides of the French capital and its high society. “There are many similarities between what we call the 'underworld' and the 'fashionable world,” he said. Over the course of his career he photographed many of his artist friends including Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dalí, and Alberto Giacometti, as well as prominent writers such as Jean Genet.

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Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
User
Solo show at a major institution
Centre Pompidou, and 2 more
Group
Group show at a major institution
Centre Pompidou, and 7 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Tate
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 1 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Fotofest International
Biography

Whether a couple embracing in a seedy nightclub, a prostitute flaunting herself under a streetlight, or a huddle of petty criminals under an otherwise abandoned bridge, Brassaï found poetry in the derelict. “The thing that is magnificent about photography is that it can produce images that incite emotion based on the subject matter alone,” he once said. Best known for photographing candid night-time scenes in the Montparnasse district of Paris—an area populated with artists, streetwalkers, petty criminals, and prostitutes (subjects that initially scandalized the public)—Brassaï was dubbed the “eye of Paris” by his friend, the American writer Henry Miller. Originally born Gyula Halász, he later acquired the pseudonym Brassaï after his Hungarian hometown Brassó and made an international name for himself with books such as Paris de nuit (Paris After Dark) (1933) and Voluptés de Paris (Pleasures of Paris) (1935), in which he captured both the seedier sides of the French capital and its high society. “There are many similarities between what we call the 'underworld' and the 'fashionable world,” he said. Over the course of his career he photographed many of his artist friends including Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dalí, and Alberto Giacometti, as well as prominent writers such as Jean Genet.

Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
User
Solo show at a major institution
Centre Pompidou, and 2 more
Group
Group show at a major institution
Centre Pompidou, and 7 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Tate
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 1 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Fotofest International
Shows Featuring Brassaï
Articles Featuring Brassaï
10 Photographers Who Captured the Romance of Paris, from Brassaï to Cartier-Bresson
Mar 21st, 2016
10 Photographers Who Captured the Romance of Paris, from Brassaï to Cartier-Bresson
My Highlights from Frieze London
Oct 11th, 2013
My Highlights from Frieze London
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