|Brassaï, Couple d’amoureux dans un bistrot, rue Saint-Denis, c. 1932
© Estate Brassaï
Ah, Paris. My trip a few weeks ago really could not have been better, in fact, it was rather perfect. The weather was glorious, everything was in bloom, the city didn’t feel overly crowded — Paris was certainly at its best. There were so many fantastic exhibitions on last month with a particular focus on fashion and photography. One such is a major Henri Cartier-Bresson show at the Pompidou Centre running through June 9. Friends in Paris warned me that the lines for admission were still quite long (it opened just a few weeks before my arrival) so I decided to conserve my time and skip it altogether. Although, I understand it is most definitely worth seeing.
I did get to a tremendous exhibition at the Hotel de Ville, Brassaï: Pour l’Amour de Paris. The Hungarian-born Brassaï (1899-1984) was unquestionably one of the most important photographers to document Paris in the twentieth century. Not necessarily the obvious, but rather the less obvious, and perhaps the far more compelling and truthful — the city at night, nightlife, light and shadows and even the somewhat deviant — from his perspective within the artisic and intellectual avant-garde. This installation was significant, comprehensive and smart. I loved it. Brassaï: Pour l’Amour de Paris was set to close on March 29, however a beautiful catalog was produced, available here. And I had never actually been inside the Hotel de Ville, very nice!