My Paris
9 Jun – 27 Aug 2017
French master of black-and-white photography Robert Doisneau (1912–1994) was, along with Henri Cartier-Bresson, one of the great pioneers of photojournalism. Doisneau is best known for his charming, playful and almost surreal photographs of everyday life. His most iconic pictures are from the early part of the 20th century, when he wandered around Paris with his Leica, capturing on film the wonders of the city and the life of its inhabitants.

Doisneau studied lithography at the École Estienne from 1925 to 1929, and initially worked as an advertising photographer. During World War II he served on the front both as a soldier and a war photographer. After the war he took to photographing people in the streets of Paris and made it onto the lists of Parisian photo agencies. His pictures were also published in many American and French magazines such as Vogue and Life.

Photography had by the mid-1920s become one of the key instruments of avantgarde art. Many artists wanted to make a clean break with traditional art and try out something entirely new. This development paved the way for humanist photography, which became the prevailing trend after the war. Photographers took pictures of people living their everyday lives. Doisneau’s warm and compassionate attitude towards his subjects is very much part of this movement.

Doisneau’s pictures contain amusing events and juxtapositions: the sublime is presented alongside the modest, beauty alongside ugliness, wealth alongside poverty. His favourite subjects were children and their world, hidden from the prying eyes of grownups. Apart from ordinary Parisians, Doisneau also photographed writers, artists and other glitterati of his day.

Robert Doisneau – My Paris
is produced with Atelier Robert Doisneau, a foundation dedicated to preserving Doisneau’s legacy. Comprising more than a hundred photos, the show is one of the most extensive exhibitions of Doisneau’s work ever seen in Finland.
Turun taidemuseo, Aurakatu 26, 20100 Turku, Puh. 02 2627 100. © 2019