Albert Monier, the lone artist inside the postcards of Paris

photopole

Some of the most popular postcards of Paris during the 1950s and 1960s featured the black and white photography of Albert Monier. The Orangerie of the Senate, located in the Luxembourg Gardens, albertmonierpresently is offering an exhibition of Monier’s photography, including images from the postcard series, as well as images of rural France and of North Africa. His images of Paris are less populated than those of Doisneau. He had a special empathy for the men of the working class and those even poorer, and when people do appear in his photography, they are more likely to be homeless or extremely poor than to be nattily dressed and smooching in front of the Hôtel de Ville. In fact, in the one photograph in this exhibit where couples are shown kissing under a bridge, at the end of line of lovers is a homeless man. Paris has changed much since the 1950s, the men labeled “clochards” in these photos would never be called that in the politically correct jargon of today (where SDF or “sans domicile fixe,” “without a fixed address” would be the preferred term). However, this window on an old world is a pleasant way to spend the afternoon and become acquainted with a photographer well deserving of our consideration.

Albert Monier, (1915-1998) worked outside the established world of commercial printing, creating his own postcards on photographic paper in his own lab. Using a small number of images, he managed to gain a popular foothold in the world of postcard photography, then dominated by Editions Yvon. However, I was even more impressed by his photography of people in the villages and the farm fields of the countryside.

Couleur Cantal Video

Couleur Cantal Video

The exhibition is only for a short period of time, some eleven days, until the 13th of September, 2009. So, if you won’t have the chance to see it, then watch this fine 6 minute documentary clip made in 1995, just a few years before Monier’s death. Click on the Couleur Cantal Video image on the right.

About these ads

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Vicki Starr
    Oct 27, 2011 @ 20:03:52

    Wonderful to see M. Monier honoured at last. I met him in 1982, having been a collector of his work for almost two decades already, and enjoyed visiting his studio and hearing so much about his life and approach to photography. He has always been one of my heroes.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: