Brassaï: Paris Nocturne

Sylvie Aubenas and Quentin Bajac. Thames & Hudson (Norton, dist.), $85 (308p) ISBN 978-0-500-54425-9
Though Paris After Dark (1932) is regarded as Hungarian-born photographer Brassaï’s (1899–1984) masterpiece, additional sumptuous images of prostitutes, opium dens, and gay balls were published over 40 years later under the title The Secret Paris of the 30s. Classic photographs from both books are included in this stunning volume, along with unpublished images and archive material. Aubenas and Bajac chronicle Brassaï’s working methods, what cameras he used, as well as his friendships with the likes of Picasso and Henry Miller. In addition to nearly 300 of Brassaï’s images, the book includes contact sheets, posters for his exhibitions, book dummies, and magazine articles about Brassaï, as well as discussion of the photographer’s subsequent fame and success, his travails with various publishers, and his influence on later generations. Using letters, photographs, ephemera, and his books as guides, the authors have pieced together this incredible moment in history and give readers a glimpse into the world of one of the most celebrated photographers of the 20th century. 296 illus., 214 in duotone. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/23/2013
Release date: 09/01/2013
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