Brassaï by night
What was it like to be an artist in Paris in the 1930s? How did Brassaï take his photos? How was his work perceived at a time when photography was only just emerging as an art form? On Thursday 14 November, Foam organises an evening about the life and work of Brassaï.

Experts will weigh in on the oeuvre of Brassaï as one of the key figures of 20th-century photography. Maurice Rummens, curator and researcher, will give listeners a glimpse into the artistic circles in which Brassaï moved. Another expert, Wim Dingemans (Silver-Hands Atelier), a specialist in analogue photography, will discuss how Brassaï worked from a technical standpoint. Did you know that his photos were heavily dependent on street lighting and required slow shutter speeds of often 5 minutes or more? Or that the famous series Paris by Night was made with a Voigtländer Bergheil using glass plates of 6.5 × 9 cm? Finally, Foam curator Mirjam Kooiman will talk about the evolution of the photographic medium during Brassaï's lifetime. 

Gyula Halász, Brassaï's original name, was born in 1899 in Brassó, Transylvania (then part of the Austro-Hungarian empire, nowadays Brasov, Romania). He studied at the University of Arts in Berlin before finally settling in Paris in 1924, a city that was to become the main subject of his work. He started as a painter but soon discovered that his strongest and most original talent lay in photography. Brassaï’s work of the 1930s would become a cornerstone of a new tradition as photography was discovered as a medium with aesthetic potential.

Brassaï is organised by Fundación MAPFRE in collaboration with Foam.

Foam is supported by the BankGiro Loterij, De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek, City of Amsterdam, Foam Members, Olympus and the VandenEnde Foundation.

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Brassaï by night