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Palazzo Ducale : Sabine Weiss : Poetry of the Moment


The Palazzo Ducale in Genoa presents a retrospective dedicated to the Franco-Swiss photographer Sabine Weiss at the Loggia degli Abati.

Bringing together more than two hundred photographs, loaned from the Sabine Weiss funds at Photo Elysee, this exhibition is the most important tribute paid to the career of Sabine Weiss, who passed away at the age of 97 on December 28, 2021.

The retrospective, curated by Virginie Chardin, is presented in collaboration with Marsilio Arte, Denis Curti and Anna Colussi, and the Musée Photo Elysée in Lausanne, produced by the Atelier Sabine Weiss – Laure Augustins, with the support of the Jeu de Paume and the Rencontres de la photographie in Arles, under the high patronage of the Swiss Consulate in Milan.

The book and the exhibition of the same name offer the richest retrospective ever produced of the work of Sabine Weiss, the only post-war female photographer to have practiced this profession for so long and in all fields of photography: from reportages to portraits of artists, through street photography, with particular attention to the faces of children and her many travels around the world.

Born in Switzerland in 1924, naturalized French in 1995 she died at the age of 97 on December 28, 2021, Sabine Weiss lived and worked for more than seventy years from her home in Paris, where her archives were also located. Never anecdotal, the great photographer always tried to show in her shots the small gestures, capturing emotions and feelings, in line with the approach of French humanist photography. “contrary to Cartier-Bresson, Doisneau, Brassaï or Izis – underlines the exhibition curator Virginie Chardin – Sabine Weiss does not construct her images like a painting or a scene, nor metaphorically to defend a point of view or to convey a message in the form of a hint. Her shots stem from an intimate experience, a spontaneous and intuitive impulse towards the subject.”

Sabine Weiss took up photography at a very young age thanks to the Boissonnas and in the mid-1940s became Willy Maywald’s assistant, specializing in fashion and portraiture. In the 1950s, she began her career as an independent photographer, with her husband, the American painter Hugh Weiss, she spend time with other artists, sculptors, musicians including Braque, Chagall, Giacometti, Niki de Saint Phalle, Utrillo.

The exhibition and the book traces the entire career of the photographer, from reportages for the most important and popular magazines of the time, such as The New York Times Magazine, Life, Newsweek, Vogue, Paris Match, Esquire to portraits of artists, from fashion to street photography with particular attention to children’s faces, to numerous trips around the world.

The catalog, published by Marsilio Arte, includes many previously unseen images, as well as texts by Virginie Chardin, curator of the exhibition, and Denis Curti, artistic director of the Casa dei Tre Oci in Venice.

Virginie Chardin is an independent French curator. A specialist in the history of photography, she has organized numerous exhibitions, including Willy Ronis in Paris, Paris in Color, from the Lumière Brothers to Martin Parr, Antonin Personnaz. Project manager at the Musée Nicéphore-Niépce, Director of the Prix des Rencontres d’Arles, she also collaborates with the Month of Photography in Paris.


November 18, 2022 – March 12, 2023
Palazzo Ducale
Piazza Matteotti 9
Genoa, Italy

Tuesday to Friday from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Saturday, Sunday and public holidays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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