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Exhibition at Argentic presents works by the great French names of humanist photography
Jean-Claude Gautrand, C’est Baltard qu’on assassine (Baltard is being murdered). Photo: Courtesy Galerie Argentic.

PARIS.- Argentic revisits the great French names of humanist photography: from Henri Cartier-Bresson to Lucien Clergue along with Willy Ronis, Yvette Troispoux and Edouard Boubat. The gallery has chosen to exhibit around forty poignant photographs. These photographers are some of the most emblematic from the humanist era and Argentic endeavour to explore this movement from its origins to the present, presenting a signed and certified series.

Appearing at the dawn of the illustrated press, during the interwar years, humanist photography reached its peak between World War II and the 1960s.

Having received its name as a result of its deep commitment to place people at the heart, this movement is a tribute to dailylife and life’s simple pleasures, whether personal , familial or professional.

Over the years, these photographers have sought to depict the common man, marginalized or poor people and the lower classes, always in a respectful, authentic and unpretentious manner.

From Henri Cartier-Bresson to Lucien Clergue, they became witnesses of era : one of optimistic renewal. Beyond the obvious aesthetic quality of their work, these photographers tended to represent the desire for renewal and reconstruction in post-wars France especially in Paris ; its neighborhoods and its suburbs constituting their predilection locations.

At that time, photography was the universal medium, accessible to everyone and everywhere through popular magazines that these photographers fed, contributing to their success.

In 1955, humanists photographers became famous around the whole world: the MoMA in New York dedicated the spectacular exhibition The Family of Man to them. This traveling exhibition presented the work of 273 photographers and was visited by more than nine million people.

Humanist photography is sign of universality and timelessness, it remains a symbol of a time and features an unprecedented documentary value. Poetic and touching, it is a precious testimony of an era in disarray, between tradition and modern

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