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Pierre Jahan


Gitterman Gallery exhibits vintage photographs from the 1930s–1950s by Pierre Jahan (1909–2003). In the mid twentieth-century in France, a time when serious ideologies in art played out against a backdrop of rapid political and social change, Pierre Jahan emerged as a figure uniquely equipped to produce compelling photographs that could often slip seamlessly between the disparate worlds of Surrealism and reportage. He was a successful commercial photographer, whose advertisements, editorial work and book cover images were often aligned with the Surrealist ethos, while his reportage work memorably captured historic events and preserved history. During World War II Jahan made one of his most significant bodies of work, La mort et les statues. In 1941 he snuck into a warehouse in the 12th arrondissement of Paris and photographed sculptures that were taken from their public perches to be melted down for their metals to aid the war effort for Germany. These photographs exemplify Jahan’s ability to utilize a diverse visual vocabulary of surrealism and reportage to create distinctive work with depth and complexity. The resulting 1946 book which paired these images with...

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