Photographs by Eugene Atget. Text by Laure Beaumont-Maillet.
Gingko Press, Corte Madera, In English and, 2006. 788 pp., 840 b&w illustrations, 5¾x7¾".
Day in, day out Atget trudged the streets of Paris recording a face that was constantly changing. His images show the buildings, alleyways, courtyards, balconies, cafes, vehicles, shop windows and goods on display -- all in perfect detail. From 1897 until his death in 1927 Atget was photographer of Paris par excellence. In a brand new edition, Atget Paris collects 840 of the famed photographer's best shots. To turn the pages is to take an unforgettable stroll through the eerie, empty streets of Paris 70 years ago. It is a strange, largely unpeopled world where objects project an uncanny density: shoes dangling in a shop window, or the milk cart laden with cans and equipped with whip and reins but no driver. In typical Atget style those humans that do appear are the humble tradespeople, the ragpickers, the prostitutes. Although hailed by the surrealists for the poetic quality of his images, Atget refused to accept that he was an artist, claiming that the pictures he took were simply documents. The shape of this book, which is that of a Parisian cobblestone, is in itself a tribute to Atget the legendary walker, and in its new edition this 'pave' now comes wrapped in a robust cardstock dustjacket.