Paris Photo 2019
7-10 November 2019| View Press Release
PARIS – Photographs illustrating the medium’s unique place in the art of science and the science of art will be exhibited by Hans P. Kraus Jr. at Paris Photo from 7-10 November 2019. Art and Science in Photography will feature works by Antoine-Henri Becquerel, J. B. Greene, Gustave Le Gray, Étienne-Jules Marey, Eadweard Muybridge, Charles Nègre, and William Henry Fox Talbot, and contemporary artists Adam Fuss, Chris McCaw, and Hiroshi Sugimoto, among others. Born of science and later employed in industry, photography’s dual nature has been explored by artists, scientists, and historians of the medium since the 19th century. With memorable images from microscopic to telescopic, from botanical photograms to bodies in motion and bolts of lightning, this symbiotic relationship continues to inform conversations today.
In response to April’s devastating fire, Hans P. Kraus Jr. is also featuring a selection of early photographs of Notre-Dame de Paris by Eugène Atget, Bisson Frères, Hippolyte Fizeau, Henri Le Secq, Nègre, and Talbot. Photography has documented the 13th-century cathedral’s restorations and its transformation from a purely religious monument to a site of civic and cultural pride securing it a central place in our collective memories and imagination.
Eadweard Muybridge’s (1830-1904) sequences of nudes in motion, jumping, doing gymnastics, pole-vaulting or fencing, as in the 1887 collotype of Male fencers on view from his Human and Animal Locomotion series, were revolutionary illusions of natural movement. Research has shown that Muybridge manipulated the sequencing of his prints to make them more aesthetically pleasing. Artists of the period, including Auguste Rodin and James Abbot McNeill Whistler, used Muybridge’s photographs as models to ensure the anatomical correctness of their drawing.
Étienne-Jules Marey (1830-1904) used photography, such as Dove in flight, a chronophotograph on film from 1885-1888, to transform his rigorously empirical physiological investigations. Marey knew that to give as exact a rendering of motion as possible, a photograph had to show the relationship existing at any moment between the distance covered and the time elapsed, something Muybridge’s cameras did not allow. Marey’s single camera enabled him to control his results by photographing subjects from a fixed perspective. By capturing several sequential frames of movement and layering the consecutive exposures on a single plate, he demonstrated the duration and continuity of movement over time rather than its fragmentation. Images such as this anticipate abstract art in the early 20th century.
William Henry Fox Talbot (1800-1877) is represented by a fiery botanical drawing, Leaf study, probably 1841, and his photoglyphic engraving, The half moon, after an original photograph by Warren De La Rue, dated 1864 or earlier. A scientist and inventor, De La Rue’s interest in astronomy led to his involvement with photography – he first attempted to photograph the moon in 1853 – and he corresponded with Talbot about the possibility of reproducing lunar views in this manner. The image demonstrates how technological advances in astronomy and photography propelled one another.
From his high vantage point in the afternoon light Charles Nègre (1820-1880) obtained an unobstructed view of Notre-Dame’s towers and portals, a position isolating the monument as a unified work of art within the image’s frame. His images on view show the stained glass removed from the central rose window, and a wooden cover and scaffolding surrounding the central portal, both of which date to when the cathedral’s façade underwent restorations starting in 1853. Each of the images, a negative with a variant positive, is the result of a separate exposure. Considered together the photographs offer insight into his working process, making multiple exposures of varying length in similar optimum lighting conditions and refining and revising his technique in an attempt to do justice to his subject.
Eugène Atget (1857-1927) called himself an “author-producer” not a photographer. He photographed in part to create “documents,” as he called his photographs, of architecture and urban views, and he supported himself by selling these photographs to painters as studies. Atget carried a large-format view camera, an outdated and cumbersome outfit, through the streets and gardens of Paris. During the final years of his life, Atget regularly photographed in the Quartier de Notre-Dame on the Île de la Cité. A fine printing-out-paper print, Notre Dame, from 1925 is on view. Not well known during his lifetime, Atget’s encyclopedic documentation of a vanishing world has become an inspiration for 20th-century photographers.
Hans P. Kraus Jr. Fine Photographs, established in New York in 1984, is a dealer in 19th and early 20th century photographs. The gallery is a member of the ADAA, PADA, and AIPAD, participating in Paris Photo, and Paris Photo New York presented with AIPAD. Hans P. Kraus Jr. Fine Photographs publishes monographs and catalogues under the series title Sun Pictures. The gallery is located at 962 Park Avenue at 82nd Street in New York City. For more information, please contact 212-794-2064 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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