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André Kertesz, Charles Grogg, Edward Weston, Ernst Haas, Florence Henri, Frauke Eigen, Horst P. Horst, Imogen Cunningham, Irving Penn, Jeanloup Sieff, John Messinger, Marc Riboud, Niko Luoma, René Burri, Robert Mappelthorpe, Sam Haskins, Seamus Ryan, Tina Modotti, Tom Fels

Flower Power

For the 2020 edition of Paris Photo New York Atlas proposes to curate a group exhibition on a subject that most embodies the connection between art and nature – flowers.

Whether supreme symbols of life or of the passing of time, flowers have inspired artists and particularly photographers, to create some of their most iconic works. The Atlas Gallery  exhibition for the fair will show the work of photography masters from different generations, presenting a survey on one of the most popular subjects of art history.  

The curated display will explore the topic through different settings, from abstract and modernist compositions of the 1930s including the works of Florence Henri and Tina Modotti to the sumptuous contemporary interpretations of Nick Knight. In the sensual works of Sam Haskins the lines and shapes of the natural world are used as counterparts to the human body, where the two elements integrate. Similarly in the work of Frauke Eigen, rhythmic contrasts and fine shades of the human figure, architecture and plants are viewed with a precise and poetic eye.

Plants and flowers gave Ernst Haas the chance to make some of his richest dye transfers and the exhibition include rare vintage signed works by the pioneer of colour photography. Other photographers represented will include Irving Penn, JeanLoup Sieff, Constantin Brancusi, and Horst P Horst. In contrast to an exquisite curation of vintage works and master pints form the twentieth century, we introduce large-scale Jimmy Nelson photographs where the floral elements are inextricably integrated with daily life and costume, such as in a portrait from the Day of the Dead in Mexico, where leaves and flowers are used as scarves and headdresses.

Seamus Ryan and Charles Grogg explore the individual identity of the flower, isolated and removed from its natural context. In unique polaroids and sepia collages respectively, these two artists present the flower as if posing for a portrait, standing alone against a neutral background.

Like portraits of people, these works depict flowers in all the stages of their existence from beauty and abundance to melancholy and decay such as Lucien Clergue’s elegiac Camargue’s flower reflections of dried stems multiplying in the water. Finally in recognition of the flower’s enduring symbolic power works by Riboud of anti-Vietnam Peace marches will complete the presentation and celebratory theme for the launch of Paris Photo in New York