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Exhibition of works by French photographer Jacques Henri Lartigue opens at Foam
Jacques Henri Lartigue, Les mains de Florette Brie le Neflier, 1961. © Ministere de la Culture France.


AMSTERDAM.- Foam presents the work of famed French photographer Jacques Henri Lartigue (1894 – 1986). Born into a prosperous middle-class family in Paris, Lartigue focused his camera on the carefree existence in and around his own family circle. Lartigue is above all famous for his spectacular photos of car races, aeroplanes and people and animals in motion. But his breath-taking colour photography is less well known. Lartigue, Life in Colour reveals this seldom-seen aspect of his oeuvre.

Lartigue’s legacy encompasses a total of 117,577 black-and-white negatives and colour transparencies, and nearly 40 per cent of his work is in colour. His colour photography began with autochrome images in his youth, and in the 1950s he started using Ektachrome film. The impressive collection spans nearly the entire 20th century, from the first photo he took in 1902 as an eight-year-old boy, to the final image taken in 1986 at the age of 92. He could capture fleeting moments of happiness like no other. Lartigue’s oeuvre offers a light and cheerful perspective on life in France in the early 20th century.

Lartigue was one of those unique people who was able to hold on to his childlike freshness, curiosity and wonder throughout his entire life. Colour and innocence went hand-in-hand for him. Photography was a way to escape his own contemporary time, so that his images have a limitlessly modern character. Lartigue unintentionally created an oeuvre in both colour and black-and-white. Most of the photos on show at Foam come from his albums, where he collected photos telling the story of his life, like an encyclopaedia. For Lartigue, who viewed himself more as a painter than a photographer, colour was mainly a way to unite the two art forms. He was regularly heard to loudly proclaim, ‘I view everything through the eyes of an artist.’

Lartigue began photographing at the age of six, and continued until his death in 1986, having taken some 100,000 photos. He recorded his life, his loves and passions with infectious enthusiasm. At first it was games and family outings that drew his attention. He quickly evolved a fascination for the depiction of speed. As a teenager he developed this interest further and used improved technology to photograph numerous car races, the flights of the first aviators and sports competitions. As a young man he turned his camera on the beautifully dressed women who promenaded on the Bois-de-Boulogne and at society events. Ever the curious amateur, Lartigue experimented with all kinds of photographic methods, most especially with stereo photography.

Lartigue occasionally sold photos to the press and exhibited work at a presentation in Paris alongside photos by major figures such as Man Ray and Brassaï (1955). Yet his reputation as photographer was not established until at the age of 69 his work appeared in a retrospective at MoMA, in New York. Worldwide fame followed three years later with the publication of his books The Family Album (1966) and Diary of a Century (1970), the last one compiled by Richard Avedon. In his final years Lartigue was much in demand as a photographer for fashion magazines.





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January 21, 2016

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Christie's announces further highlights from The Miles and Shirley Fiterman Collection

Outstanding fresh-to-market Auerbach at Bonhams February Post-War and Contemporary Sale

Exhibition of new work by English artist Chantal Joffe opens at Victoria Miro in London

Legendary Hungarian posters of some of the greatest masterpieces of cinema history will go under the hammer

Ed Vaizey places temporary export bar on Italian cabinets that give unique insight into 17th century

Chinese Export paintings dealer Martin Gregory holds first exhibition in New York

D. Wigmore Fine Art in New York exhibits a selection of works by William Hunt Diederich

Exhibition of rock paintings from the Frobenius Collection opens at the Martin Gropius Bau

Exhibition of works by French photographer Jacques Henri Lartigue opens at Foam

First survey of Korean monochromatic painting with American Minimalism on view at Blum & Poe

Block Museum opens first major exhibition exploring legacy of Charlotte Moorman, the 'topless cellist'

pavlov's dog exhibits works by Hans Peter Riegel

New York declares 'David Bowie Day' as final play ends

Hammer Museum announces 26 artists for upcoming biennial

New and recent works by artist and filmmaker John Akomfrah on view at Lisson Gallery

Craig Kauffman is now represented by Sprüth Magers

Bold coloured pencil drawings by artist Aaron Kasmin on view at Sims Reed Gallery

Thomas Dane presents a new group of monumental works by Alexandre Da Cunha

Brand new body of work by British-American Pop artist Russell Young on view at Halcyon Gallery

Marina Pinsky's first major institutional solo show opens at Kunsthalle Basel

Outstanding American Indian Art Auction at Skinner

Exhibition focuses on three historical bodies of work by Ann Craven

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