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Brassai Letters to My Parents cover
  • ISBN: 9780226071466
  • ISBN10: 0226071464

Brassai Letters to My Parents

by Brassai

  • List Price: $29.95
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Univ of Chicago Pr
  • Publish date: 09/01/1997
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Description
Nicknamed the "Eye of Paris" by Henry Miller, Brassai was one of the great European photographers of the twentieth century. This volume of letters and photographs, many published for the first time, chronicles the fascinating early years of Brassai's life and artistic development in Paris and Berlin during the 1920s and 1930s.

Born Gyula Halasz in 1899 in Hungary, Brassai moved to Berlin in 1920 and quickly became part of its intense intellectual life. Among his friends were Moholy-Nagy, Kandinsky, and Kokoschka. In 1924 he moved to France, where he was at the center of the extraordinary art scene in Paris between the two world wars. Brassai shot a remarkable series of photographs while wandering the city at night with Henry Miller and other nocturnal walkers such as Lion-Paul Fargue and Raymond Queneau. The series was published as a book, Paris de nuit, and won Brassai an Emerson gold medal, while Miller wrote his first of many pieces about the photographer. Oddly, Brassai is one of the least understood of the major twentieth-century photographers, possibly because so little is known of his early life and friendships. He was close to many major artists of the modernist era including Picasso, Andre Breton, Man Ray, and Pierre Reverdy and was recognized as an artist of equal standing in his field. Throughout the thirties and forties Brassai's photographs appeared in an array of magazines, including Harper's Bazaar.

The amazing letters Brassai wrote to his parents during his years as a student and struggling artist in Paris and Berlin are published here in English for the first time. Just as Brassai captured in his photographs the texture, mood, and mystery of 1930s Paris, so too inhis letters, through his candid, detailed, and vivid descriptions, he conveys in an immediate and forceful way what it was like to live in that world. An important, revealing work for everyone interested in Brassai and the history of photography, this thoughtful collection will fascinate anyone who wants a firsthand account of Berlin and Paris in the 1920s and 1930s.

"It is a rare photographer indeed whose prints are engraved in our memories in remembrance of emotions comparable to those felt upon reading a literary work. From the outset, Brassai considered all his works as a unified whole. He is probably the only photographer -- at least in France -- to have acquired such a vast audience and mastered his material to such a degree that he can express himself with a flexibility and apparent ease that is almost literary in its nature". -- Jean Gallien, Photo-Monde

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