Gems of historic photography in Tours

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Gems of historic photography in Tours (France)

Always keen to discover hidden cultural hotspots we visited the city of Tours, in the middle of France, a few times because of the extraordinary photo exhibitions presented in the Château de Tours, the old castle of the city. Since 2010 the local government and the Jeu de Paume National Gallery are collaborating on exhibitions devoted to historic photography. Exquisitely presented shows with the work of Andre Kértész, Vivian Maier, Robert Capa, Sabine Weisz, and Willy Ronis, just to name a few, have attracted the photo connoisseurs to visit the university city along the river Loire.

At the moment the French photographer Lucien Hervé (1910 - 2007) is honored with an exhibition under the title ‘Geometry of Light’ in the castle’s rooms, proving he was really a magician playing with shadow and light. This exhibition at the Château de Tours pays tribute to this photographer for architects, most famous for his work for Le Corbusier, by juxtaposing, as he did, the universal and the timeless, the ancient and the modern, the abstract and the human.

“My conception of photography is, on the surface, very straightforward: it seeks traces of humanity everywhere. Which may seem strange to people who go to my exhibitions. Indeed, almost all my photos avoid including any human presence in the buildings. However, I try to express that presence through the work accomplished by man”, wrote Hervé in a letter in 1964. And it is true, although the abstract forms of architecture are dominating the first impression when looking ar his photos, the human presence is always near. That is one of the fascinating aspects of Hervé’s work.

Two exhibitions a year at the Château de Tours are only a small part of the activities of Jeu de Paume, the organization that presents lens-based art from the 20th and 21st century in Paris. Lovers of historic photography must mark a date between 16 October and 27 January 2019 in their agendas because then a large retrospective of Dorothea Lange, photographer of iconic images of the Great depression, will be on Display at Concorde in Paris.

Visitors of Tours and surroundings can visit the Geometry of Light exhibition till 27 May, 2018. The Château de Tours is open Tuesday till Sunday from 2 PM till 6 PM.

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