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'Ervin Marton, Paris, the Post War Years' opens at Cohen Gallery in Los Angeles
Ervin Marton, Three Glasses. All photographs courtesy of Cohen Gallery, the Ervin Marton Estate.

LOS ANGELES, CA.- Cohen Gallery announces Ervin Marton, Paris, the Post War Years, an exhibition of work from internationally celebrated classic photographer Ervin Marton (1912 – 1968). Open from May 5th – July 3, 2015.

Born in Budapest, Austria-Hungary in 1912, Marton was trained in drawing and sculpture as a youth, and taught himself photography.

By the mid-1930s, Paris had grown as a haven for artists as well as a refuge for Jews and other people escaping the violent oppression of Hitler’s Third Reich. Marton immigrated to Paris in 1937 and joined the artistic community, quickly befriending other artists and photographers such as Brassaï, Kertész and Picasso.

Along with many artists and fellow émigrés, Marton joined the French Resistance during the German occupation. He was awarded the Médaille de la Libération for helping to print and disseminate polemic material against the Germans, forge documents for refugees, and organize other aide efforts.

In this exhibition, Marton’s broad array of interests are presented with the over-riding gestalt of the time. Much of the early Parisian work on view features gritty urban scenes and realist subjects: children playing games, beggars on a stoop, organ grinders, fire breathers – and cafes, shop windows, hotel lobbies, amusement parks, and other public spaces. The French poet Blaise Cendrars once called Ervin Marton “the ace of black and white,” referring to the sense of calm in his work - particularly the street photography.

Marton’s interest in portraiture flourished in the Post-War years. He is known for his candid portraits of some of the great artists and thinkers of midcentury Paris. This exhibition features portraits of Jean Cocteau, Brassai, Jean Renoir, Picasso, Jean Genet, and Pierre Cardin, among others. In addition, Marton’s experimental photographs of the same period will be exhibited.

During his lifetime, Marton’s work was regularly exhibited in Paris, London, Budapest, and Milan. Alongside Izis, Boubat, Brassaï, Doisneau, and Ronis, Marton’s work was featured in a Humanist Photography exhibit at the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris entitled “La Photographie Humaniste 1945-1968” His photography is in the collection of the Hungarian National Gallery, the Bibliothèque Nationale, the Hungarian Museum of Photography, and is held by collectors in the US and abroad.

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