Brassaï, Avenue de l’Observatoire in the Fog, ca. 1937; Estate Brassaï Succession, Paris; © Estate Brassaï Succession, Paris

Exhibitions

Brassaï

November 17, 2018–February 18, 2019

Floor 3

Best known for his provocative and enigmatic images of Parisian life between the two world wars, the photographer Brassaï (born Gyula Halász) is one of the most prominent figures of twentieth-century photography. Called “the eye of Paris” by his friend Henry Miller, Brassaï’s work both celebrates and reveals the complexities and hidden sides of French society and culture.

This thematic survey of his career focuses on his celebrated depictions of 1930s Paris, where he photographed lovers, prostitutes, workers, and gatherings in cafés, bars, and dance halls with an intimate candor that’s still striking today. The exhibition also includes powerful portraits of his artist friends—Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dalí, and Henri Matisse, among others—and the city’s creative avant-garde. Brassaï brings together outstanding prints of the artist’s best work along with many never-before-seen photographs.

Major support for Brassaï is provided by The Bernard Osher Foundation.

The Bernard Osher Foundation logo

Brassaï is organized by Fundación MAPFRE in collaboration with the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Entry to this exhibition is included with general admission.

Header image:

Brassaï, Avenue de l’Observatoire in the Fog, ca. 1937; Estate Brassaï Succession, Paris; © Estate Brassaï Succession, Paris

Exhibition Preview

  • Brassai 05

    Brassaï, Avenue de l’Observatoire in the Fog, ca. 1937; Estate Brassaï Succession, Paris; © Estate Brassaï Succession, Paris

  • Brassai 02

    Brassaï, On the boulevard Saint-Jacques, 1930–32; Estate Brassaï Succession, Paris; © Estate Brassaï Succession, Paris

  • Brassai 03

    Brassaï, Paris, 1930–33; Estate Brassaï Succession, Paris; © Estate Brassaï Succession, Paris

  • Brassai 01

    Brassaï, Bal des Quatre-Saisons, rue de Lappe, ca. 1932; Estate Brassaï Succession, Paris; © Estate Brassaï Succession, Paris

  • Brassai 07

    Brassaï, Billiard Player, boulevard Rochechouart, 1932–33; Estate Brassaï Succession, Paris; © Estate Brassaï Succession, Paris

  • Brassai 09

    Brassaï, Kiki de Montparnasse and her Friends, Thérèse Treize and Lily, ca. 1932; Estate Brassaï Succession, Paris; © Estate Brassaï Succession, Paris

  • Brassai 10

    Brassaï, Salvador Dalí and Gala, Villa Seurat, Paris, 1932–33, printed posthumously; Estate Brassaï Succession, Paris; © Estate Brassaï Succession, Paris