WILLY RONIS | WILLY RONIS: PARIS
In collaboration with Peter Fetterman Gallery
November 10 – January 11, 2013
Dina Mitrani Gallery is proud to present Willy Ronis: Paris in collaboration with Peter Fetterman Gallery, Santa Monica, California. This exhibition includes some of the artist’s most celebrated images, which capture the simple pleasures of everyday life in Paris during the 1930s, 40s and 50s. His photographs are poetic, light-hearted, humor-filled, and full of compassion as they capture the delight of French "joie de vivre."
Willy Ronis was born in Paris in 1910, the son of immigrants from Russia and Lithuania and lived to be 99 years old. As a young boy, he worked with his father in the family portrait studio and studied piano with his mother. His love of music as well as his early photography work developed his sense of composition. Ronis later claimed to find a resemblance between music and photography in "the taste I have for composition, particularly counterpoint. Many of my photographs are taken from above, either looking down or up, three planes in one image, like three different melodies in a fugue which work together to give the piece structure and harmony."
After his father’s death in 1936, Ronis joined the photo agency Rapho and worked alongside well-known photographers such as Cartier-Bresson, Brassaï and Robert Doisneau. Like his colleagues, he wandered the streets of Paris, open to serendipity, chance and luck. His carefully composed images showed ordinary people doing ordinary things, unaware that immortality was just a camera click away. Among his fellow photographers, he was always regarded as a master; his sense of proportion, his framing of an image, was exquisite.
Mr. Ronis gained due recognition in the United States when he became the first French photographer to work for LIFE magazine. Subsequently, Edward Steichen included him in two important exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Five French Photographers in 1951 and The Family of Man in 1955. Two years later, he was chosen to receive the Venice Biennale Gold Medal. In 1979 he was awarded the Grand Prix des Arts et Lettres for Photography by the Ministry of Culture, and in 1981 the Prix Nadar for his photobook Sur le fil du hazard. Ronis has had several books and monographs published on his work, and he is considered to be one of the great masters of twentieth century photography. His work is included in public and private collections including the most important museums around the world.Gallerist Peter Fetterman has been deeply involved in the medium of photography for over 30 years. Initially a filmmaker and collector, he set up his first gallery over 20 years ago. The gallery has one of the largest inventories of classic 20th Century photography in the country particularly in humanist photography.