"Night only suggests things, it doesn't fully reveal them. Night unnerves us and surprises us with its strangeness; it frees powers within us which were controlled by reason during the day..." -Brassai
Bruce Silverstein Gallery is pleased to present: Night, an exhibition of the work of Brassai, Ilse Bing, Robert Doisneau and Andre Kertesz.
The leading artists working with photography in Europe during the 1920s and 30s found the night to be an inspiring subject that became a leitmotif in their work, a revelatory expression of the burgeoning modernist approach to art making that reflects the shifting social and artistic conventions during this period.
Photographic images made at night were new, bold, mysterious and brave, the ability to photograph at night being a recent technical capability that had yet to be mastered or even considered by the majority of photographers working in the 20s and 30s. Night was an artistic frontier and the making of images at night implied a certain creative seriousness that helped bring photographers into dialogue with the larger art world during these decades. At this moment in art and in photography in particular, night and all its connotations provided the perfect backdrop for realizing the artist’s creative intent.
The four artists selected for this exhibition had an affinity for working at night and the images on view extend the first half of the 20th century. The works featured include Brassai’s well-known Paris de Nuit images, Ilse Bing’s early formalist compositions, Doisneau’s free-spirited and engaging photographs of Parisian nightlife, and Andre Kertesz’s early night photographs from Hungary—the purported inspiration for Brassai’s Paris series—as well as remarkable New York images that reveal the artist’s consistently innovative vision further inspired by the night.