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  1. #1
    cliveh's Avatar
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    Eugene Atget Appreciation Society

    I am a great fan of the work of Eugene Atget and think his compositions and sense of presence is second to none. I have read that when Berenice Abbott showed Stieglitz some of Atget’s work he was not impressed and this is something I don’t understand. Do others appreciate the work of Atget and have a favourite Atget image? Mine are too many to list.

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

  2. #2

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    Atget

    One of my most admired artists....
    The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.

  3. #3

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    I too love his images particularly those without any people in them. They remind me of Sci-Fi films where all the people have disappeared. A particular favorite is Café La Rotonde, Boulevard Montparnasse. The photo was taken in the early morning before the cafe opened and shows all the chairs lined up and empty. One article on his images mentions "the unexpected surrealism of his work."
    A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

    ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

  4. #4
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    card-carryin' member... too many favorites, still finding new ones...

    Atget can be returned to many times, providing more questions than answers
    but the sense of a kindred soul remains, at least for me

    also "The Work of Atget" series is amazing, deep and thoughtful...

    [small homage, another]

  5. #5
    Richard Sintchak (rich815)'s Avatar
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    I really like the work of Brassai, HCB, Kertesz, Berenice Abbott, Helen Levitt, Doisneau, Walker Evans and Bill Brandt. But other than one or two of his images I struggle to find much of unique interest to me in Atget's work. I do not profess to be any kind of art scholar and maybe I'm missing something but other than the time and place of his images I find them kind of boring.
    -----------------------

    "Well, my photos are actually much better than they look..."

    Richard S.
    Albany, CA (San Francisco bay area)

    My Flickr River of photographs
    http://flickriver.com/photos/rich815...r-interesting/

    My Photography Website
    http://www.lightshadowandtone.com

  6. #6

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    Give me an Atget photo for breakfast, a Bach cantata for lunch and some bread+water for dinner, and I am a happy man

    This book has been in my library for many years and it's probably the only book (amongst 100s of monographs) to which I've returned again and again:
    http://www.amazon.com/Atget-John-Sza...keywords=atget

    It contains 100 Atget photos, each one coupled with a short and usually brilliant essay by John Szarkowski. As a matter of fact, it is this book that formed the "photographer Atget" in my mind. A must read IMO.

  7. #7
    Ross Chambers's Avatar
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    There is currently an Atget show at the Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney, Australia. I'll see it next week.

    And, tastelessly but maybe they solicited funding from Instagram, you can make your very own Atget in seconds!

    http://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/cal...hy-experience/

  8. #8
    Newt_on_Swings's Avatar
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    I think his work was very influential to street photographers that came after him. I like his documentary style which gives viewers today a look at Paris of the past. But I always felt that there needed to be an human element in many of his images. I guess it's just my taste but I lean more toward photographers like brassai. Taschen also makes a very affordable book as well available on amazon.

  9. #9

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    I've never 'got' Atget's work either, but more and more contemporary photographers are referencing him. Maybe I need to spend some time with a well curated book of his most significant images, from an aesthetic point of view. That's my problem though, I just don't see any aesthetic sense in his images, only a nostalgic sense of place. Then again, I can see what somebody like Kenna has taken from Atget. So hmm. You mention 'presence' which is something I'm very much interested in, cliveh. Could you expand on what you see as this presence in his work? I'd like to be able to appreciate Atget on some level - I guess I'm a philistine until I do.

  10. #10
    cliveh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by batwister View Post
    I've never 'got' Atget's work either, but more and more contemporary photographers are referencing him. Maybe I need to spend some time with a well curated book of his most significant images, from an aesthetic point of view. That's my problem though, I just don't see any aesthetic sense in his images, only a nostalgic sense of place. Then again, I can see what somebody like Kenna has taken from Atget. So hmm. You mention 'presence' which is something I'm very much interested in, cliveh. Could you expand on what you see as this presence in his work? I'd like to be able to appreciate Atget on some level - I guess I'm a philistine until I do.
    Batwister, I'm sure you are no philistine and I think you have to sit with some of these images for a while to get the 'presence'. Like all artists there is also much stuff that are merely records and I also don't get some of them. It is difficult for example to appreciate why he should photography a bush with a bit of wall in the background. However, some of his images are so beautiful and evocative, it is difficult to believe they were created by a photomechanical process. Spend some time to really look through a few Atget books, you will not be dissapointed.

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

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