Born in France in 1894, Lartigue was a privileged child, taking his first photographs at the age of six. This was the beginning of what would become a lifelong diary, creating an enduring record of 20th Century life. Lartigue obsessively photographed his family and friends, building up an extraordinary archive of photo-albums spanning 80 years, creating a unique and compelling record of an epoch.
This exhibition focuses primarily on Lartigue’s fascination with the joys of love and life, enveloped in exquisite glamour. His charming and delightful photography captured with beauty and panache, the intimacies of family life and high society and the infancy stages of innovations in aviation and motoring.
The world seen through his resolutely optimistic lens, is one of pleasure, leisure and great style. Lartigue is considered by many to be one of the greatest photographers of the 20th Century, and for someone who never intended his photographs to be exhibited, they have quite rightly become the absolute last word in French style, glamour and luxury.
Although Lartigue occasionally sold his pictures to the press and exhibited at the Galerie d’Orsay alongside Brassaï, Man Ray and Doisneau, his reputation as an important photographer of the modern era, was not truly established until 1963, when he was 69 years old with a retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
His photographs record the high society carelessly frolicking in the south of France, the wealthy at play. Drenched in fun and laughter, these images of Lartigue’s friends in all manner of splendid games, sun bathing, swimming and cheekily cavorting, leave one with a liberated sense of joy.
In this exhibition (Gallery Vassie's 4th solo Lartigue show) we will, for the first time, be highlighting many of Lartigue's lesser-known colour images, alongside his more familiar black & white photographs.
This exhibition compliments the current 'Lartigue in Colour' exhibition which is on at Foam (FotoMuseum Amsterdam), which ends 3rd April.
The key to Lartigue’s images, characterised by a keen eye for composition, was a clear passion for his subjects, and an ability to create timeless photographs.
Today the Lartigue name is synonymous with quality and commands the highest respect. His work continues to be exhibited extensively internationally, with countless solo exhibitions in institutions and museums worldwide.
If any one can make life seem happy, Lartigue can!
All of these photographs are for sale, please ask for further information.