From Bauhaus and Surrealism masterpieces to Soviet photography, the Thomas Walther Collection includes emblematic images of the first half of the 20th century, such as this photo of Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue, taken by Berenice Abbott in 1936. This major figure of documentary photography in the United States worked as an assistant in Man Ray’s Parisian studio in the 1920s, and was fascinated by architecture and the changing urban landscape.
These testimonies from the USSR to the streets of New York mark the invention of modern photography. George Hoyningen-Huene’s portrait of Henri Cartier-Bresson captures the idea of a new, faster, and more mobile artist, a sniper capable of immortalizing a world in too much of a hurry.
Through the avant-garde vision of these artists, this exhibition invites us to explore Europe turned upside down by the wars, and America as a land of exile for most of them during this troubled period. Because photography, this mobile, fast, and instantaneous art is driven by a universal grammar and a language without borders. A beautiful revolution.
Les chefs-d’œuvre photographiques du MoMA – La collection Thomas Walther
September 14, 2021, through February 13, 2022
Jeu de Paume, Paris