At the Palazzo Ducale in Genoa, the French humanist photography of Sabine Weiss

The Loggia degli Abati of the Palazzo Ducale in Genoa welcomes the shots of Sabine Weiss, among the most important voices of French humanist photography. November 18, 2022 through March 12, 2023.

From November 18, 2022 to March 12, 2023, the Palazzo Ducale in Genoa is hosting, in the Loggia degli Abati, the exhibition Sabine Weiss. The Poetry of the Instant, curated by Virginie Chardin, produced by Atelier Sabine Weiss - Laure Delloye Augustins, with the support of Jeu de Paume of Arles International Festival Les Rencontres de la photographie d’Arles and Photo Elysée under the high patronage of the Consulate General of Switzerland in Milan and produced by Palazzo Ducale Fondazione per la Cultura and Tre Oci with Marsilio Arte.

The exhibition will trace theentire career of Sabine Weiss, from her beginnings in 1935 to the 1980s, through more than 120 prints and numerous documents and magazines of the time. One of the most important voices of French humanist photography, who passed away in 2021 at the age of 97, Weiss was the only postwar female photographer to have practiced this profession for so long and in all fields of photography, from reportage to portraits of artists, from fashion to street shots with an emphasis on children’s faces, to numerous world travels. For this exhibition, her personal archives kept in Paris were opened to tell, in a broad and structured way, her story and work.

Born in Switzerland in 1924, Sabine Weiss was drawn to photography from a young age and served her apprenticeship at the studio of the Boissonas, a dynasty of photographers practicing in Geneva since the late twentieth century. After the war she moved to Paris and became assistant to Willy Maywald, a German photographer specializing in fashion and portrait photography. In 1950 she married American painter Hugh Weiss and embarked on a career as an independent photographer: she moved into a small Parisian studio with her husband and frequented postwar artistic circles, portraying them in photographs that became very famous. This period is recounted in one of the main cores of the exhibition.

In 1952 her career took a decisive turn when she joined the Rapho agency and her personal work gained immediate critical acclaim in the United States, with exhibitions at Moma in New York, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, and the Limelight Gallery in New York. He has also obtained long-term contracts with major American publications such as the New York Times, Life, Vogue, Paris Match and Holiday. Prestigious collaborations represented in the exhibition through photographs for Vogue, Elle, Charm and Paris Match.

The exhibition intends to place special emphasis on the production of the 1950s, with a particular focus on photographs of street children, Parisian scenes, portraits of artists, and documentary photography in a Europe under reconstruction after the war. From that time, and until the early 2000s, Sabine Weiss continued to work for the international illustrated press, as well as for numerous institutions and brands, moving from reportage to fashion shoots, from advertising to celebrity portraits, and social issues.

An entire section is also devoted to his celebrated portraits of artists, writers, actors and musicians, including Alberto Giacometti, André Breton, Georges Braque, Joan Miró, Kees Van Dongen, Robert Rauschenberg, Niki de Saint Phalle, Romy Schneider, Ella Fitzgerald, Brigitte Bardot, Jeanne Moreau and many others.

Finally, the exhibition will place special emphasis on his personal black and white work since the 1980s, and his various trips to India, Burma, Bulgaria, and Egypt. Works that have further contributed to her reputation as an independent photographer with a great humanist sensibility and a special attention to the details of everyday life.

For info:

Hours: Tuesday through Friday from 2 to 7 p.m.; Saturday, Sunday and holidays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Image: Sabine Weiss, Gypsies (Sainte-Maries-de-la-Mer, France 1960) © Sabine Weiss

At the Palazzo Ducale in Genoa, the French humanist photography of Sabine Weiss
At the Palazzo Ducale in Genoa, the French humanist photography of Sabine Weiss

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