This year at Paris Photo Hamiltons exhibited in both the main sector of the fair as usual, and in PRISMES with a special installation by Daido Moriyama who visited the fair in honour of this and to recieve his chevalier des Arts et des Lettres from the Minister of Culture.
The principal highlight of Hamiltons presentation at Paris Photo was Richard Avedon and photographs from his In The American West series, in celebration of Hamiltons’ renewed partnership with The Richard Avedon Foundation.
For more than fifty years, Avedon’s portraits have filled the pages of the finest magazines, galleries and museums worldwide. His stark imagery and brilliant insight into his subjects’ characters made him one of the most celebrated portrait photographers of all time. As Avedon’s reputation grew from early in his career, so did the opportunities to meet and photograph celebrities from a broad range of disciplines. Avedon’s ability to present personal views of public figures, who were otherwise distant and inaccessible, was immediately recognized by the public and the celebrities themselves.
Throughout his life Avedon maintained a unique style all his own. Famous for their minimalism, Avedon portraits are often well lit and in front of white backdrops. When printed, the images regularly contain the dark outline of the film in which the image was framed.
In 1979 Avedon began working extensively on a commission from the Amon Carter Museum of American Art to create a series of portraits of ordinary people living in the west of the United States. Over the course of five summers, he traveled the “American West” by car, finally producing a series of studio images of drifters, carnival workers, and working-class Americans. In The American West is now recognised as one of his most intimate, moving bodies of work.
Hamiltons also exhibited the work of Raymond Depardon for the first time. The gallery selected a group of photographs made exclusively in the United States and recently exhibited in an exhibition at Arles 2018 titled Depardon USA 1968-1999. These photographs were made during the Presidential campaign of 1968 and later in New York during the early 1980s when Depardon lived and worked in the city. Freely roaming New York City and using an approach inspired by street photography rather than journalism, he remembers that at the time it ‘was a paradise for photographers where there was something both energising and soothing’.
Raymond Depardon was born in France in 1942. Joining the Dalmas Agency as a photojournalist in 1960, he worked internationally for news organisations over many years and in 1978 became a member of Magnum. In 2006 he was invited to serve as the Director of the Rencontres Internationales d’Arles. At Paris Photo, Hamiltons is showing a range of photographs drawn from Depardon’s personal archive.
Daido Moriyama is one of the few living modern masters of photography from Japan and the most celebrated photographer to emerge from the Japanese Provoke movement of the 1960s. Hamiltons presented Moriyama at Paris Photo, both on the main stand and in a special installation in PRISMES.
Moriyama’s work is notoriously challenging, often recording the breakdown of convention in post-war Japan. Haunted by the American occupation of the country in the aftermath of World War II, he alludes to the struggle between tradition and modernism, spirituality and commerce, conveying society’s conflicts through a new visual language.
Hamiltons’ “Lip Bar” installation in PRISMES, available in an edition of 3, replicated Bar Kuro, a small bar in Shinjuku. Moriyama frequented the bar for years and was familiar with its owner “Mama” (a term used in Japan for female owners of these minute bars). Mama, an eccentric lady, has an unusual way of treating her customers –not as politely as might be expected from a host. Her personality and unique approach to hospitality has become part of the experience at the bar attracting many visitors, particularly an artistic crowd. Mama herself is a contemporary artist and she organized a festival in 1999 in the district called “GAW” (Goldengai Art Waves), inviting artists to display their work. This festival became a local success - it’s 8th edition in 2013 is the most recent. In September 2005, Mama asked Moriyama to take part and he chose to cover her bar with his lip image and the Lip Bar was created.
Moriyama’s contribution to the photographic world is profound, exhibiting globally in solo and group exhibitions including a solo exhibition at Fondation Cartier, Paris in 2016. Moriyama’s work is held in many public and private collections and he has published multiple photo-essays and photobooks.