Roman Vishniac: De Berlin à New York, 1920-1975

Art, Photography
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 (Roman Vishniac, 'Sara, assise sur le lit dans un logement au sous-sol', Varsovie, 1935-7 / © Mara Vishniac Kohn / Courtesy International Center of Photography)
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Roman Vishniac, 'Sara, assise sur le lit dans un logement au sous-sol', Varsovie, 1935-7 / © Mara Vishniac Kohn / Courtesy International Center of Photography
 (Roman Vishniac, 'Carrière', Wieringermeer, Pays-Bas, 1939 / © Mara Vishniac Kohn / Courtesy International Center of Photography)
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Roman Vishniac, 'Carrière', Wieringermeer, Pays-Bas, 1939 / © Mara Vishniac Kohn / Courtesy International Center of Photography
 (Roman Vishniac, 'Jeunes sionistes bâtissant une école et une fonderie', Wieringermeer, Pays-Bas, 1939 / © Mara Vishniac Kohn / Courtesy International Center of Photography)
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Roman Vishniac, 'Jeunes sionistes bâtissant une école et une fonderie', Wieringermeer, Pays-Bas, 1939 / © Mara Vishniac Kohn / Courtesy International Center of Photography
 (Roman Vishniac, 'Les Danseurs Emily Frankel et Mark Ryder', New York, début des années 1950 / © Mara Vishniac Kohn / Courtesy International Center of Photography)
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Roman Vishniac, 'Les Danseurs Emily Frankel et Mark Ryder', New York, début des années 1950 / © Mara Vishniac Kohn / Courtesy International Center of Photography
 (Roman Vishniac, 'Petit garçon debout sur un amas de gravats', Berlin, 1947 / © Mara Vishniac Kohn / Courtesy International Center of Photography)
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Roman Vishniac, 'Petit garçon debout sur un amas de gravats', Berlin, 1947 / © Mara Vishniac Kohn / Courtesy International Center of Photography
 (Roman Vishniac, 'Trois soeurs, peu après leur arrivée aux Etats-Unis', New York, 1941 / © Mara Vishniac Kohn / Courtesy International Center of Photography)
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Roman Vishniac, 'Trois soeurs, peu après leur arrivée aux Etats-Unis', New York, 1941 / © Mara Vishniac Kohn / Courtesy International Center of Photography
 (Roman Vishniac, 'Récalcitrance', Berlin, c.1929 / © Mara Vishniac Kohn / Courtesy International Center of Photography)
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Roman Vishniac, 'Récalcitrance', Berlin, c.1929 / © Mara Vishniac Kohn / Courtesy International Center of Photography

The Russian-born American photographer Roman Vishniac (1897-1990) is best known for capturing the world that came to an end with the Holocaust. On the request of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, Vishniac spent four years in the late ’30s documenting the lives of ordinary Eastern European Jews. The resulting oeuvre is a sweeping, shimmering profile of a society that would soon be shattered in the most brutal fashion imaginable. It is also typical of Vishniac's tendency to work on commission, and with a clear programme in mind. Needless to say, the career of a man who lived to 92 cannot be boiled down to a single four-year period; as its name suggests, this exhibition spans over half a century of work, from his early US street photography to his peculiar micrograph phase in the ’70s. A wonderful tribute to an under-appreciated artist.

By: MD/ADdW

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