Izis, Paris des Rêves at Hôtel de Ville
  • 19
  • Mar
  • 2010

Asked why he chose Paris after having fled the persecution of Jews in Lithuania in 1930, Izis replied, “Because it excited my imagination. It was the City of Lights. For me everything was happening in Paris. Liberty, Equality of man and Culture, that’s what made us dream.” The retrospective of his photography at Hotel de Ville “Izis, Paris des Rêves” invites us to discover this dreamlike poetry in the everyday life of Paris.

The exposition opens with a series of portraits of maquisards, the French resistance fighters. Izis who joined the French Resistance army during the war, decided to portray of his companions soon after liberation of Limousin in 1944 using only a white background and no retouching. It is precisely this raw quality of the portraits of men with bright eyes and timid smiles that makes their heroism more credible and palpable. The portraits of famous French people Izis took during twenty years of collaboration with Paris Match also capture their unrehearsed dignity.
Together with other photographers such as Robert Doisneau, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Sabine Weiss and Willy Ronis, Izis represents the French Humanist photography in the second half of the 20th century. Every one of Izis’ photographs of children, workers, flower and bird vendors, vagabonds or cripples emanates with the beauty and grace of the human being.
“I was often told that my photographs are not realist,” Izis admits “Maybe they are not realist, but this is my reality.” extract out of text by Joanna Bronowicka for Vingt.

Hôtel de Ville - Salon d’accueil,5, rue Lobau, 75004 Paris, M° Hôtel de Ville

Until 29th May 2010
Open every day from 10am – 6:45pm except Sundays and public holidays.
Last admission at 6:15. Admission free.


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