Brassaï Brassaï. In the Studio and on the Street

27.05.2011 to 28.08.2011

Museum Berggruen
Museum Berggruen

Here we see Georges Braque gesturing to a cow, while in other shots strange beings stare out at us - the Hungarian artist Brassaï (1899-1984), famous for his night shots of Paris in the 1930s, spent his life tracking down magical moments, mysterious signs and mysterious creatures. The National Gallery is dedicating a double exhibition to the Hungarian photographer before the Museum Berggruen closes its doors in September 2011 for renovation work in preparation for the opening of its new wing in June 2012.

In the Museum Berggruen, Brassaï's portrait and studio shots invite viewers to step into the world of his artist friends, of Picasso and Matisse, Giacometti and Braque. His photographs tell of the paintings and sculptures, many of which now hang in the Museum Berggruen today, that appear to lead a life of their own while still in the studios where they were created.

Meanwhile in the Sammlung Scharf-Gerstenberg, whose focus on Surrealism leads us to the dark and otherworldly nature of what Kubin terms the 'other side', our attention turns to the markings anonymously scribbled on walls and the sides of buildings, which Brassaï brings to life in his 'graffiti' photographs. Like prehistoric cave paintings, they seem to us like messages from distant worlds, which at the same time have their roots far below the surface of our own life.