Raymond Depardon, 'Un moment si doux'

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'Autoportrait au Rolleiflex', Paris, 1959 © Raymond Depardon / Magnum Photos
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Salon du camping, Porte de Vincennes, 1960 © Raymond Depardon / Magnum Photos
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Beyrouth, Liban, 1978 © Raymond Depardon / Magnum Photos
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Glasgow, Ecosse, 1980 © Raymond Depardon / Magnum Photos
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Plage de Wai Ki Ki, Honolulu © Raymond Depardon / Magnum Photos
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Harar, Ethiopie, 2013 © Raymond Depardon / Magnum Photos
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Harar, Ethiopie, 2013 © Raymond Depardon / Magnum Photos

Perhaps it’s no accident that Raymond Daepardon's best known photo – a presidential portrait of François Hollande in the gardens of the Elysée palace – is in colour. Though he also frequently used black and white, Depardon has made his mark most of all by using colour where you least expect it, like in 1978, during his reportage on the consequences of the Lebanese civil war. Whether he was travelling in Scotland, Chile or Lebanon, he approaches his subjects sideways, taking more interest in the shockwaves of an event than in the event itself. To do this, he more often uses a chromatic palette, rather than limiting himself to the elegant distance of black and white.

Taking his work in colour as a starting point, the Grand Palais has put together an exhibition of more than 150 photos, of which half are previously unseen, and which oversee the career of the founder of the Gamma agency from the end of the 1950s until today. The exhibition ends with ‘Un moment si doux’ (‘Such a gentle moment’), a series begun during the first decade of this century, which takes a step back from reportage for a more intimate approach to subjects in Africa and South America.

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