Eve Arnold Joan Crawford, actress (USA), trying to remember her lines during a rehearsal at home. Behind her is Joan as she was in Mildred Pierce. California, USA. 1959. © Eve Arnold | Magnum Photos

True to the collective spirit of a co-operative such as Magnum, Susan Meiselas has transformed a monographic exhibition at the Magnum Paris gallery into an open invitation to all female Magnum photographers.

The exhibition aims to bring together the work of the different generations of female Magnum photographers, inspired by the historic exhibition Magna Brava, which took place in 1999 at the National Gallery of Scotland and displayed the work of six female Magnum photographers. Two decades later, their number has risen to thirteen, but proportionally they are still the minority.

Inge Morath Untitled (From the Mask Series with Saul Steinberg). USA. 1962. Photograph by Inge Morath © The Inge Morath Foundation/Magnum Photos. Mask by Saul Steinberg © The Saul Steinberg Foundation/ARS, NY © Inge Morath | Magnum Photos

The first-floor gallery space is dedicated to the generation of pioneering female photographers within the agency. It prominently features Pandora’s Box, a series by Susan Meiselas—a darkly captivating journey into a high-class S&M sex club; Eve Arnold takes an interest in the rituals of beauty, capturing every detail through striking close-ups; Inge Morath’s Masks, harks back to the original Magna Brava exhibition, as it questions the art of portraiture by concealing the faces of her subjects with paper masks.

The second floor presents the new generation of female photographers who have joined Magnum since the year 2000. Olivia Arthur shares the private worlds of Saudi women in a format which reflects an intimate diary, combining image and text. Bieke Depoorter’s work explores the intimate world of women in the privacy of their homes. The work is the fruit of fortuitous meetings in city streets, that led to her to be invited to peer into this world at the discretion of the people she has met. In As it may be, Depoorter transports us into the nocturnal ambiance of Egyptian homes.

Carolyn Drake | Internat © Carolyn Drake | Magnum Photos

Newsha Tavakolian continues the exploration of femininity in the Middle East through metaphorical images; Carolyn Drake’s work plays with the conceal/reveal of shadows; Alessandra Sanguinetti captures movement, while Diana Markosian bears witness to the face of a young girl swimmer.

A masculine presence is introduced by nominee Cristina de Middel, who fuses man and machine, inspired by Modern Times and the aesthetic of classical Hollywood cinema.

Newsha Tavakolian Portrait of Somayyeh, Teheran. Iran. 2014. © Newsha Tavakolian | Magnum Photos


The books linked to the works presented in the exhibition will be available to reference upstairs. Some historic publications of Cristina Garcia Rodero, Marilyn Silverstone and Martine Franck also make up a part of the selection, which aims to introduce visitors to the work of all the women Magnum photographers.

Opening: 2 February 2018 at 18:30 pm.
Duration of the exhibition: 5 February – 27 April 2018

Magnum Gallery
19 rue Hégésippe Moreau

Opening hours:
Mon – Fri 10–13 & 14-19

More information

Susan Meiselas Pandora's Box, Security TV 1. New York City. USA. 1995. © Susan Meiselas | Magnum Photos
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