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Eugène Atget


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Eugène Atget (French, 1857-1927) is doubtless one of the most important photographers beyond his time, as he ushered classical photography into modernity with his artistic ambition. Unmistakably picturesque views of Paris form the core of his oeuvre. Series like Le vieux Paris and Paris pittoresques, in which Atget depicted street scenes and quarters of Paris with his 18 x 24 cm camera, have become famous historical documentations.

Because of the great diversity of his motifs and his self-contained iconography, Atget's work goes beyond classical photographic documentation, so that he is regarded as the founder of conceptual photography. Atget strongly influenced the art scene at the latest as of the 1920s, becoming an important model and source of inspiration for many photographers not only in his time, but also for later generations of artists. Apart from Lee Friedlander, a whole series of photographers like Stephen Shore, Garry Winogrand, Henry Wessel and Bernd and Hilla Becher have repeatedly alluded to Atget in their work.

In the last years of his life, Atget met the young photographer Berenice Abbott, who acquired Atget’s collection from his estate after his death 1927. Later Abbott and the American art dealer Julien Levy sold the collection to The Museum of Modern Art in New York. It is also thanks to Abbott that Eugène Atget posthumously received the acknowledgement he did not get in his lifetime.


Art objects of this artist

Atget, Eugène ◊ Bagatelle (arbre), 1922
Atget, Eugène ◊ Bagatelle (arbre), 1922

Atget, Eugène ◊ Oranges, Nice, vor 1900
Atget, Eugène ◊ Oranges, Nice, vor 1900

Atget, Eugène ◊ Bagatelle, Nymphea, 1923-25
Atget, Eugène ◊ Bagatelle, Nymphea, 1923-25

Atget, Eugène ◊ Bagatelle (roses), 1921
Atget, Eugène ◊ Bagatelle (roses), 1921

Atget, Eugène ◊ Eugène Atget, Pommier, before 1900
Atget, Eugène ◊ Eugène Atget, Pommier, before 1900

Atget, Eugène ◊ Bagatelle (roses), 1921
Atget, Eugène ◊ Bagatelle (roses), 1921

Atget, Eugène ◊ Bagatelle, Nymphea, 1923-25
Atget, Eugène ◊ Bagatelle, Nymphea, 1923-25

Atget, Eugène ◊ Oranges, Nice, before 1900
Atget, Eugène ◊ Oranges, Nice, before 1900

Atget, Eugène ◊ Bagatelle (arbre), 1922
Atget, Eugène ◊ Bagatelle (arbre), 1922

Atget, Eugène ◊ Eugène Atget, Pommier, before 1900
Atget, Eugène ◊ Eugène Atget, Pommier, before 1900

Biography


1857
Born in Libourne, Gironde, France

1879
Enters the Conservatoire national de musique et d'art dramatique, Paris

1890s
Atget begins to photograph Old Paris

1926
Man Ray publishes a few of Atget's photographs in the magazine "La révolution surréaliste".

1927
Atgt dies in Paris
Berenice Abbott acquires his estate

1929
Atget's work is included in the important modernist exhibition "Film und Foto" in Stuttgart

1931
first book of his photographs published

1968
The Museum of Modern Art, New York, acquires the Abbott-Levy Collection

1969
Atget retrospective at The Museum of Modern Art, New York



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Exhibition


Current and past exhibition-dates and information
Feb 23rd, 2008
PARKS and TREES - Eugène Atget & Lee Friedlander


More dates:

Recent solo exhibitions

2008
Fotomuseum Winterthur, Switzerland, 1 March - 25 May, 2008

2007
Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin

BNF - Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris, Frange

The Victoria and Albert Museum, London

2006
ICP International Center of Photography, New York

George Eastman House, Rochester, NY

2005
Philadelphia Museum of Art, USA

Musée de la Photographie, Charleroi, Belgium

2003
Tate Liverpool, England



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