Robert Doisneau, Les frères, rue du Docteur Lecène, Paris, 1934 | Photo: © Robert Doisneau
One hundred and thirty shots to celebrate one of the fathers of twentieth century photography: precious black and white prints with silver salts have landed in Turin from the collection of the Atelier Robert Doisneau in Montrouge, in the South of France, where for over fifty years the master he printed and archived his images, leaving a legacy of 450,000 negatives and an incredible amount of vintage prints. Curated by Gabriel Bauret and recently inaugurated in the Turin spaces of Camera – Centro Italiano per la Fotografia, until February 14th the exhibition invites you to take a complete journey into the work of the great humanist photographer and pioneer of street photojournalism.
Robert Doisneau, Le baiser de l’Hôtel de Ville, Paris 1950 © Robert Doisneau
The Kiss at the Hotel de Ville, which made him famous in the world, certainly cannot be missing. But it’s time to go ahead and rediscover Doisneau’s research in all his richness, between famous shots and little-known pearls that all have a story to tell.
Robert Doisneau, Le vélo de Tati, Paris 1949 © Robert Doisneau / Gamma Rapho
“If there is someone I adore, that is Doisneau”, said the great Henri Cartier-Bresson: “The intelligence, the depth of Doisneau, his humanity. He is a wonderful man ”. Whether it is photos taken on commission or during his wanderings around Paris, Doisneau told about his time letting himself be guided by disobedience and curiosity, in his opinion “the two fundamental requisites in this profession”.
Robert Doisneau, Un regard oblique, Paris 1948 © Robert Doisneau
Walking with him were often the writer friends Jacques Prévert, Robert Giraud and Blaise Cendars: “when I found an image I thought of one of them, who was the first to whom I showed it”, said Doisneau: “A little I owed it to them, because they were the ones who taught me to see ”.
Robert Doisneau, L’enfer, Paris 1952 © Robert Doisneau
In Turin his free and empathic gaze returns to tell the story of war and liberation, work, love, street games, but also art, fashion, music. Along the way of the exhibition we will meet characters such as Yves Montand, Juliette Gréco, Pablo Picasso, and above all crowds of anonymous passers-by, porters, brats surprised in the freshness of everyday life, in a realistic and poetic cross-section of an era and its humanity.
Robert Doisneau, Le ruban de la mariée, Saint Sauvant 1951 © Robert Doisneau / Gamma Rapho
Eleven sections mark the visitor’s journey in Robert Doisneau’s Paris: it starts with children, an inexhaustible source of inspiration for the French photographer, to go on with themes such as “Occupation and Liberation”, “The postwar period”, “Street theater” , “Bistrot”, “A certain idea of happiness”. An excerpt from the film Robert Doisneau, le révolté du merveilleux (Robert Doisenau. The lens of wonders), created in 2016 by the granddaughter of the master Clémentine Deroudille, finally invites us to go beyond images to come into direct contact with the great humanist photographer and fully understand his work.
Robert Doisneau, Caniveau en crue, Paris 1934 © Robert Doisneau