Willy Ronis

4 06 2010

I do cultural things every once in a while.  Last week, I went to the Willy Ronis exhibition at the Monnaie de Paris museum with Libby.  I had seen the posters in the métro and wanted to go see it, so when Libby asked if I wanted to go with her, I gladly accepted.

Many of you have surely seen this famous Willy Ronis photograph on a postcard or a poster.

The photographer

Just to give a little background, Willy Ronis was a photographer who was born in Paris in 1910 to a family of Jewish immigrants.  As a young boy, he got his first camera and became interested in photography.  After working in his father’s photo studio, he decided to become an independent photojournalist. He did numerous photo reportages and is famous for covering the Citroën strikes and photographing workers in factories.  During WWII, he had to flee from Paris to the free southern zone and did various jobs there.  His extensive portfolio includes Vogue, exhibitions at MoMA in New York and the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, and numerous reportages in Europe.  In 1972 he left Paris to live in the south of France and teach at the École des Beaux-Arts d’Avignon.  He won many prizes for his work, including the Grand Prix National des Arts et des Lettres.  He died in Paris at the age of 99 on September 11, 2009.

(Biography information from the exhibition program)

Charles Bremner from the New York Times has written an interesting article about Ronis, if you are interested about learning more.

The photography

To me, his Paris pictures were the most interesting part of the exhibition.  Here are a few of my favorites:

"Le Nu Provençal" 1949

"Amoureux de Bastille" 1957

"Place de la Concorde, un soir en passant" 1957

"Autoportrait aux flashes, Paris" 1951


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