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Paolo Pellegrin
Maison Européenne de la Photographie
5/7 rue de Fourcy, 75004 Paris, France
April 4, 2012 - June 17, 2012

One of the best Photo shows in Paris this year!

What a relief after so many disappointments at the MEP to see a show of such a strong artist.  Pellegrin is the real thing.  If you're in Paris before June 17, be sure to make a point to visit the MEP in the Marais.  A thorough investigation of this Magnum photographer who continues to win journalism prizes left and right--and all merited.  Whether he works with film or switches to digital, the work is equally strong in his mastery of the graphic and compositional elements as well as his wonderful sensitivity to the human condition he has encountered in the four corners of the world--often under war conditions.  

It is precisely this ability to show these delicate moments of emotion and individuality in the midst of the horrors of war that lift his work from being simple photojournalism and making them stand as works of art that discuss the terrible struggles some are forced to encounter. 

As an interesting aside, it's perhaps worth mentioning that among the huge collection of photos--with hardly any photos serving as "filler pieces" the near totality of the exhibition (which includes work from the late 90s until at least 2010) there is hardly any color photography--and this including also what I am confident are his later works done with digital cameras.  (He seems to continue working with film until as late as 2009.)  At a time when so much of the photo world in the last ten years--and especially those working in the quick turnaround world of journalism--was abandonning film-based photography, Pellegrin stays with the film and the black and white look when it has become rarer and rarer among contemporary photographers.  And seeing his work we understand the power that black and white photography continues to hold.

Posted by Steve Loomis on 4/29/12 | tags: Photo Journalism realism photo reportage traditional landscape figurative photography

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I agree totally! This is a beautiful show but too often the MEP makes very strange decisions about what they choose to exhibit. It the age-old story of needing to know the right person otherwise, forget it? But this work is truly one of the great shows of the year. A must see, even if, like me, you're not necessarily a big war photography fan.

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