The exhibition is entitled “The Beauty of the Lines, masterpieces of the Gilman & Gonzalez-Falla collection”. Is presented at the Caillebotte Estate, an amazing and sublime place in which lived the painter Gustave Caillebotte and his family.
This photo exhibition comes from the private collection of a couple of American collectors, Sondra Gilman and Celso Gonzalez-Falla, initiated in the 1970s.
It is one of the most beautiful private collections in the world consisting of more than 1500 prints, almost exclusively original prints, of the most important photographers of the 20th and 21st centuries. – Jean-Jacques Naudet
A collection of photos unique in the world
“The Beauty of the Lines” presents a selection of 126 masterpieces from the history of photography from the exceptional collection of Sondra Gilman and Celso Gonzalez-Falla. This American couple, who live mainly in New York and love France where they stay for long periods of time, is driven by a common passion, photography, since the discovery of the works of Eugène Atget in particular.
Composed of more than 1500 photographs (almost all original), the collection honors many illustrious photographers of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
In the 70s, the couple began acquiring photographs. Today, this particular American collection is one of the most important in the world and has been presented in Switzerland, at the Lausanne Museum under the curation of Tatyana Franck, director of the Musée de l’Elysée and Pauline Martin, curator, the exhibition is presented at Yerres, at the Caillebotte Property, from September 15 to December 2, 2018.
The French Henri Cartier Bresson and Robert Doisneau, the Germans Ilse Bing and Karl Blossfeldt, the Japanese Hiroshi Sugimoto, the Dutch Rineke Dijkstra, alongside Eugene Atget (the first acquisition by Sondra Gilman),Robert Frank but also the biggest American names such as Bérénice Abbott , Man Ray, Edward Weston,Robert Frank, Aaron Siskind, Ray K.Metzker, Harry Callahan, Nan Goldin, Walker Evans, Robert Adams and Lewis Baltz.
Most of the photographs, which adorn the walls of the collectors main residence in New York, are an integral part of their daily lives. The link between Sondra Gilman, Celso Gonzalez-Falla and their photographs is therefore very personal. They buy by taste, by coup de coeur, without intermediaries nor advisers and don’t care about the photographer’s ratings on the market. Only their desire guides them. And from this desire is born a link of exceptional intimacy with this collection.
When the line becomes a masterpiece
During the course of history, photographers have oscillated between two trends: the mimetic illusion of reality, or the enhancement of the visual qualities of the image. Whether it is “instant lines” (according to Henri Cartier Bresson), rational lines, or curved lines (the human body in particular), the line may reinvent reality to abstraction With “The Beauty of the Lines”, the exhibition explores the strength of the photographic line.
The viewer is invited to understand the different articulations of each photograph, and therefore their different types of lines.
The richness of the collection offers to stroll through the history of photography to consider the visual force of images throughout the ages. The goal is to confront masterpieces on a formal basis, to perceive that resonances often exceed temporal and geographical distances.
The photographic line is powerful and multiple, the exhibition “The beauty of lines” is divided into several sections.
From the controlled line to the “spontaneous” line
To document the real, the verticality and perfect parallelism of the lines are obvious for many photographers, such as the Americans Robert Adams and Lewis Baltz. This section of the exhibition invites to consider the importance of the lines of force, whether they are, or not, strictly parallel. In contrast to the romantic image, the straight line can evoke a certain coldness, a nature domesticated by the human hand.
On the other hand, for the photoreporters or humanist photographers for example, the straightness of the line often becomes softer. Some vertical lines can structure the composition without being centered or parallel to the frame.
Nature of the body and the line
For artists who love curves, nature, the human body or the flora offer many. The American Edward Weston and the German Karl Blossfeldt were the first to move in this direction, but also Bérénice Abbott, Léon Levinstein, Robert Mapplethorpe, Bill Brandt and André Kertész, who demonstrated that the curve outlines all the bodies, male and female photographed in their entirety or in detail. Freed from the imitations of painting made until then by the pictorialists, these artists prove starting in the 1920s that photography is an art in its own right.
The pure line
The abstractions part brings together photographs whose reference to the real gets lost, allowing to consider first the lines of abstraction of the image. To try to see the line is to perceive an abstraction of reality that the image has immortalized. This is to consider the photograph before seeing the object represented. In order to hide the reality, artists advocating abstraction, such as Americans Aaron Siskind, Ray K. Metzker and Harry Callahan, hide the real to highlight only the visual force of the image.
« La Beauté des Lignes. Collection Gilman et Gonzalez-Falla »
September 15 – December 2, 2018
8 rue de Concy, 91330 Yerres
Tel. 01 80 37 20 61