The French Academy in Rome – Villa Medici is pleased to present this autumn the COLLECTION exhibition which celebrates the photography collection of Florence and Damien Bachelot.
The exhibition unfolds in an exceptional series of around 150 photographs covering a century of the history of the image, in the intimacy of the human condition. From Brassaï to Sabine Weiss and from Diane Arbus to Mitch Epstein , the itinerary allows an in-depth reading of the history of photography focused on Humanity and its relationship with its environment, where the effervescence of the city goes hand in hand with poetry portrait solitaire.
The exhibition offers a double view: that of the collectors Florence and Damien Bachelot through 20 years of a coherent acquisition approach that composes a personal story, and that of the curator Sam Stourdzé through a selection of prints where the photographer's eye acts as a seismograph of the events of history and intimate stories.
The exhibition juggles two great transatlantic traditions: from early 20th-century French photography known as the humanist to American street photography. Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Doisneau and Willy Ronis then meet Dave Heath, Helen Levitt and Robert Frank .
An extraordinary series of about 40 period prints by Saul Leiter testifies, with the transition to color, a turning point towards the second half of the century and a reversal of photographic influences. American counter-culture and the setbacks of modernist utopia occupy the center of the picture.