Brassai in America, 1957
- A rare discovery of more than 150 previously unpublished photographs in black and white and in color, from a legendary photographer.
A rare discovery of more than 150 previously unpublished photographs in black and white and in color, from a legendary photographer. Despite strong personal and professional ties in the USHenry Miller, Harpers Bazaars Carmel Snow, and Edward Steichen, who featured Brassaïs work in many MoMA exhibitionsBrassaï remained reticent about travel to the United States until 1957 when Holiday magazine offered generous compensation (and artistic freedom) to photograph New York, Louisiana, and along the east coast. From the first symbolic image of this voyagethe Statue of Liberty appearing over the ships prowBrassaï came under the spell of America and his photographs innately captured his new perspective. In New York, he was captivated by the graphic skyscrapers and the rhythmic to-ing and fro-ing of the crowds. Unlike his static photographs of Parisposing prostitutes, embracing lovers, sleeping street peoplehere he captured sequences of movementchildren playing, fashionable women parading by, or the effects of light filtering through the urban architecture. In Louisiana, he continued to photograph more languorous sequences, but here he reveled in colorthe copper skin of sunbathers, the pastel tones of prom dresses, the vibrant neon of amusement park attractions. The New Orleans music halls, nightlife, women, and exotic vegetation recall scenes from 1930s Paris. This exuberant study of 1950s America offers the reader unprecedented access to Brassaïs work including previously unpublished color photography.