~BLACK & WHITE and Paris – all over

. . . black and white and beautiful – forever.

‘Yvon’s Paris: Vintage Photographs from the 1920s’
the show opened Dec 16, 2010 – with a book signing by ROBERT STEVENS, author of ‘Yvon’s Paris’, published by WW NORTON.
the exhibit ran: Dec 16, 2010 – Jan 29, 2011

a wonderful and haunting show of vintage prints by postcard photographer PIERRE YVES PETIT aka YVON – as he liked to be known –
this show just came down – but you can still cruise the gallery website – for a most romantic and soul-solacing time. the show featured more than thirty vintage photographs exhibited for the first time.

from the press release:

Pierre Yves-Petit, . . . Yvon, as he considered himself, though virtually unknown by name, helped to shape the idea and physical understanding of the evolution of Paris. Through his company, Editions Yvon, he became what David Dunlap calls ‘the best-known unknown photographer in France.’

Preferring to photograph at sunrise and sunset, he worked the drama of the sublime, making stunning, hypnotizing and beautiful pictures. Yvon’s style evokes other flaneurs of the time such as EUGENE ATGET, ANDRE KERTESZ and BRASSAI.

Yvon, ‘Notre Dame’, c. 1920s, 3-5/8 x 5-1/8 in., vintage silver gelatin print.

this haunting and powerful image was found on the invite card for the show. it seems to say it all – about NYC, year 2011. about looking out over the city and the scene. esp the art scene. vampires and all. it seems to resonate with an uber contemporary grin.

Yvon, ‘Pont de la Tournelle and Notre Dame’, c. 1920s, 6-1.2 x 4-1/2 in., vintage silver gelatin print.

. . . though most of the photos bring to life, again – a lost time of great achievement.

Yvon, ‘Jardins des Tuileries’, c. 1920s, 4-3/4 x 6-3/4 in., vintage silver gelatin print.

. . . and all – of them – just stun you.
make you get quiet – and travel to the inwardly sublime. not a bad place to go – in our mean and speedy over-info, and harsh times.
brute force – be gone !!

Yvon, ‘Quai de la Tournelle’, C. 1920s, 3-3/8 x 5-3/8 in., vintage silver gelatin print.

Yvon, ‘Luxembourg Garden’, c. 1920s, 4-7/8 x 6-3/4 in., vintage silver gelatin print.


most def & and with profound delight: see more photos from the exhibit, ‘Yvon’s Paris’, HIGHER PICTURES

‘Yvon’s Paris’ by ROBERT STEVENS – published by W.W. Norton & Company
a beautifully produced hard cover book, released MAY 2010 / 9.5 x 11.3 in. / 144 pages. ($40)

regarding the book, from W.W. NORTON:

Photographs of the City of Light taken by a master photographer in the early part of the twentieth century.

The photographer PIERRE YVES-PETIT, who called himself ‘Yvon,’ wandered the streets of Paris between the world wars looking for the moment when the shifting light and clouds would perfectly reveal the city’s ephemeral, iconic beauty. The dramatic images of the city and its people that he made during those years would become the most popular postcards in France. They can still be bought today on Parisian quais and are eagerly sought by collectors.

With an eye for startling viewpoints and unusual weather conditions, Yvon photographed the city awakening at dawn, in the shimmering afterglow of rain, or seen over the shoulder of a gargoyle high atop a cathedral. ‘Yvon’s Paris’ reproduces more than one hundred of his loveliest images, many made from recently discovered glass negatives. This elegant and poetic collection captures the magic of paris at its most photogenic – the way many of us romantically wish it still were.

ROBERT STEVENS is Lecturer of Photographic History at SVA/the School of Visual Arts NYC, and at ICP/the International Center of Photography, NYC. He lives in NYC.