Richard Kalvar • Photographer Profile • Magnum Photos

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"The photograph is completely abstracted from life, yet it looks like life. That is what has always excited me about photography"

- Richard Kalvar

b. 1944

American

Based in Paris, France

Member

Available for commissions
& assignments

After studying English and American literature at Cornell University in the mid-Sixties, Richard Kalvar worked in New York as assistant to French fashion photographer Jérôme Ducrot. It was an extended trip with a camera to Europe in 1966-1967 that made him decide to become a photographer.

After working for two years in New York he was offered his first and last role in the theatre, acting in French in Marseille and Paris, where he settled, helping found the Viva agency in 1972. In 1975 he became an associate member of Magnum Photos, and a full member two years later. He subsequently served as vice-president and president.

Kalvar has done extensive personal work in America, Europe, Asia; notably in France, Italy, England, Japan and the United States, supporting himself with journalistic and commercial assignments. He has a long-term unfinished project in Rome.

In 1980 Kalvar had a one-man show at Agathe Gaillard gallery in Paris and has participated in many group shows. A major retrospective of his work was shown at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in 2007, accompanied by his book Earthlings.

Kalvar’s photographs are marked by a strong homogeneity of aesthetic and theme. His images frequently play on a discrepancy between the banality of a real situation and a feeling of strangeness that emerges from a particular choice of timing and framing. The result is a state of tension between two levels of interpretation, attenuated by a touch of humor.

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Selected works

Politics

World Economic Forum: Davos 1999-2011

Richard Kalvar

Richard Kalvar has photographed delegates meeting for over a decade during the World Economic Forum in Davos

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From the Magnum Shop

Most Recent

Past Book Signing
Paris, France

Magnum Paris Christmas Sale

Magnum Photographers
Dec 13 · Free

Newsroom

The Magnum Digest: July 13, 2018

Magnum Photographers

Theory & Practice

Richard Kalvar: Photo Poche

Richard Kalvar

Theory & Practice

Behind The Image: At The Piazza della Rotonda

Richard Kalvar

Upcoming Course
London, United Kingdom

Creative Documentary and Photojournalism Course with Magnum Photos and Spéos in London

Magnum Photographers
Sep 13, 2019 - Feb 28, 2020

Past Workshop
Paris, France

Street Photography Workshop in Paris with Matt Stuart and Richard Kalvar

Magnum Photographers
Jun 9 - 10

Newsroom

March for Our Lives

Magnum Photographers

Theory & Practice

Behind the Image: After Thanksgiving Dinner, 1976

Richard Kalvar

Past Exhibition
Aachen, Germany

Richard Kalvar’s ‘Earthlings’ in Aachen

Richard Kalvar
Until Nov 5, 2017

Theme | 15 Stories

Behind the Image

Past Square Print Sale

Closer

Magnum Photographers
Jun 5 - 9

Newsroom

Farming in France

Richard Kalvar

Theme | 13 Stories

The France Project

Arts & Culture

Stories of the City: A Magnum exhibition on the Paris Metro

Magnum Photographers

Past Exhibition
Brescia, Italy

Magnum’s First/Magnum: La première fois

Magnum Photographers
Until Jun 11, 2017

Theme | 6 Stories

The 2016 US Presidential Election

Newsroom

The Day Trump Won

Magnum Photographers

Theme | 6 Stories

Latest Workshops

Past Square Print Sale

Conditions of the Heart: on Empathy and Connection in Photography

Magnum Photographers
Oct 31 - Nov 4