It was great fun as usual at Fondation Cartier for the opening of « Auto Photo, from 1900 to today » a show of 450 pictures by American, British, German, Swiss, Japanese, Mexican, Chinese, African and French photographers who, one way or another, were attracted by cars. Small and large formats, color and black and white, esthetical or social themes make for a very varied exhibition curated by Xavier Barral and Philipe Séclier, two adventurers who love photo.
More than being a series of portraits of automobiles, this exhibition tries to analyse the changes made by cars around the world in the 20 th century : new bridges, parkings, mortorways are being built sometimes with great talent, and it studies the love that peope of all generations and nationalities have for cars. Also of course the evolution of automobiles.
From Martin Parr, always the most colourful, to Jacques Henri Lartigue, from Andreas Gursky to Pierre de Fenoÿl, Yasuhiro Ishimoto, Brassaï, Raymond Depardon and Elliott Erwitt, Chinese and African vintage prints, the mosaic of pictures is a feast. And again, bring your children, they will discover how much fun “modern” life can be around cars.
There is nothing in common between Mexican photographer Alejandro Cartagena who photographs pick up trucks filled with people and things from above, and Johnny Pigozzi’s paparazzi shots of Jack Nicholson and Keith Richards inside their limos, but the energy deployed by all these prints is quite gripping and the pace of the show makes complete sense.
It is hanging on the two levels of the Jean Nouvel building of boulevard Raspail and you will laugh troughout the show. My favourite picture is one of the last, downstairs : Peter Lippmann’s « Citroën traction 7 » from his series Paradise parking. It is hidden under lierre in a forest and seems to have grown roots. The photographer was there commenting his pictures like Hans Christian Schlink.
Many artists were attending the preview and German and English were being spoken all around. A nice change for Paris… (Until September 24 at Fondation Cartier and don’t miss the “Soirées Nomades” at the Foundation, in May, June and July)
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