Paris Photo 2022
DANIEL BLAU is pleased to present a trio of outstanding exhibitions at this year’s PARIS PHOTO. The renowned Munich gallery has emphasized photography since its foundation, and takes pride in its international reach and reputation and the range of contacts it has earned. This year, its contribution to PARIS PHOTO encompasses nearly 80 photographs, a tripartite arch spanning from early, massive cityscapes of Rome to wartime photographs capturing the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor to the first, fascinating examples of photography from space. This is mankind at its most grandiose and monumental – but also at its most dangerous, and ominous.
The unbelievable happened in 1969. A spacecraft crewed by humans touched down on the moon. Even now, the moon landing, and the missions into space that led up to and succeeded it, retain their fascination for us. A curation of high-quality images, both in color and in black-and-white, are presented here as kaleidoscopic insight into the NASA missions of the late 1960s and ‘70s they document. It could be that even the photo-enthusiast public sees little special, today, in space photography, overwhelmed as it is by countless satellites sending back high-resolution glimpses into the cosmos. If we cast our thoughts back some 60 years, though, NASA’s photographs appear again in new light: the surface of the moon recorded by man, the earth photographed for the first time from that lunar surface, heavily historic and phenomenal images. From a scientific perspective, of course, these missions, of an era already receding into memory, gained mankind a wealth of new information and ways of understanding the universe around us. The stillness, though, the endless quiet of these photographs, the play of light and shadow on another world and beyond our ken, the colors glistening off the horizons of other planets and into boundless space – these are artworks, pure, and fascinating moments in the history of photography.
The exhibition “KRONOS” features photographs taken on December 7th, 1941, of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The photographic propaganda material that helped define perceptions of the surprise attack stemmed from unlikely sources, from snapshots and the corners of unintentionally well-timed holiday memories. An otherwise innocuous beach scene contains a massive explosion; a section of Pearl Harbor is found in a birds-eye overview. We see concentric waves making their way towards a row of ships – in only a moment the waves’ torpedo will strike one. Daniel Blau has assembled an important collection of photographs, from multiple origins and a wide variety of techniques, documenting the attack. U.S. Navy photographers and rarely represented Imperial Japanese Army photographers are displayed alongside one another for the first time. What results is a haunting window into one brief instant in time, the historic flash of an unanticipated, world-altering attack, into the very nature of war photography and propaganda, and into the artistry and philosophical perspectives at play between explosions and snapping shutters.
One more highlight of this year’s presentation brings us into the classical past and before a different sort of grandeur, a monumental modern image of an antique monument. The largest enclosed building of the ancient world, the Roman Colosseum, was captured in photography by the Roman urban photographers Tommaso Cuccioni (1790-1864) and Giuseppe Ninci (1823-1890). The building itself dates to AD 79; the print is the earliest dated work our gallery is showing at Paris Photo, and one of the earliest large-format architectural photographs of any kind. It is an unusual piece of art, an albumen print almost 1.5 meters wide and executed in three parts. Ninci learned the craft of photography in Cuccioni’s studio, opening his own around 1866 not far from the Spanish Steps. Both photographers were known for their oversized topographic images of the Eternal City, as spectacular in their own right as the ancient edifices themselves are.
Grand Palais Éphémère
Vernissage (by invitation only):
November 9, 2022
3 pm – 9 pm
November 10 – 12, 2022
1 pm – 8 pm
November 13, 2022
1 pm – 7 pm