Describing himself as a “historian of the present”, Abbas dedicated himself to documenting the political and social life of societies in conflict. In a career that spanned six decades, he covered wars and revolutions in Biafra, Bangladesh, Northern Ireland, Vietnam, the Middle East, Chile, Cuba, and South Africa during apartheid. The result of a process described by Abbas as “writing with light”, his images occupy a niche that spans both photojournalism and art.
This collection draws together works that, while taken across a range of different countries, all epitomize Abbas’ singular approach to capturing the essence of both people and places.
In Midnight at the Crossroads, Cristina de Middel explores the roots and representation of African spirituality across four different countries: Benin, Cuba, Brazil, and Haiti. Working alongside her husband and collaborator, artist Bruno Morais, de Middel delves into the symbolism of the spiritual force of Èsù and its meaning to different people. The resulting project, which reads more like a film narrative than traditional photo documentary, reimagines the way in which African-rooted religions are generally represented.
For over forty years, Stuart Franklin has combined a bold documentary style with strong personal vision. In 1989, he took his acclaimed, life-changing photograph of Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, where a demonstration for freedom ended in massacre. It was first published in Time Magazine, earning him a World Press Photo Award. Franklin has photographed some of the most significant news events of the 21st Century and explored landscapes around the world. In his words, his practice “repaints the boundaries of documentary to create a sense of freedom”.
The selection of works on view, which spans both colour and black and white, examines Franklin’s deep ecological concerns. He joined Magnum Photos in 1985 and became a full member in 1989.
While Gruyaert became fascinated by the power of colour when he first moved to Paris in the 1960s, and subsequently on his first trip to New York in 1968 where he saw the works of Pop artists Roy Lichtenstein and Robert Rauschenberg, his revelation that colour photography was his preferred medium came from his very first trip to Morocco in 1969. Reminiscent of artists Eugène Delacroix and Henri Matisse, this revelation had a long-lasting impact on Gruyaert’s oeuvre which he decided to entirely dedicate to colour photography.
The exhibition is running online and at the Magnum Gallery in Paris until 2 April 2021
For six years Matt Black has been photographing communities and lands in the U.S where at least 20% of the population live in poverty. Travelling 100,000 miles through the U.S, Black has set out to explore whether the American dream is still viable, debunking the myth of America as a land of opportunity. “From a ground level, America looks very different from the stories we like to tell ourselves,” he says.
Redacting some choice words from the opening page of Chairman Mao’s Little Red Book leaves us with the statement: “If there is to be a revolution, there must be a party”. Playing with and expanding upon this notion gave Cristina de Middel the concept for her 2013 project Party. Deliberately and visibly manipulating quotations from the famous text, de Middel constructs a calculated and – at times – contorted narrative to accompany a series of photographs she took on her first trip to China. The resulting diptychs, intended to push the limits of documentary, offer a provoking take on contemporary Chinese society.
In a project that explores various social themes through depictions of the Brazilian jungle, collaborators Cristina de Middel and Bruno Morais offer a series of photographs focused largely around animals in both the wild and as they stray into the pair’s home in the region of Bahia. Photographing these animals alongside various interventions, from mirrored surfaces to archival materials and household objects, the pair invite viewers to question their understanding of the relationship between nature and culture. Through the medium of these motifs, de Middel and Morais offer insight into humanity’s place within the greater environment.
Philippe Halsman was born in Riga and began to take photographs in Paris in the 1930s. He opened a portrait studio in Montparnasse in 1934, where he photographed André Gide, Marc Chagall, André Malraux, Le Corbusier and other writers and artists, using an innovative twin-lens reflex camera that he had designed himself. He arrived in the United States in 1940, just after the fall of France, having obtained an emergency visa through the intervention of Albert Einstein. In the course of his prolific career in America, Halsman produced reportage and covers for most major American magazines, including a record 101 covers for Life magazine. His assignments brought him face-to-face with many of the century's leading personalities.
Together with Agata, Bieke Depoorter explores the complexities of the photographic enterprise, grappling with the relationship between photographer and subject. By diving deep into a collaborative working dynamic with a Polish woman she met in a strip club in Paris, she creates a small alternate universe that raises more questions than it offers answers: Who made these images? Who is the subject? Who is Agata? This project is both the story of a young woman searching for identity by playing with it as if it were a toy and the story of Depoorter experimenting with the fragility of photographic authorship. Most of all, it’s the product of a photographer and a subject consciously agreeing to, as both Agata and Depoorter have put it, “use each other.”
Disliking the ‘superficiality and sensationalism’ of the magazine business, Werner Bischof devoted much of his working life to looking for order and tranquility in traditional culture. Despite this he worked on commission in Japan, Korea, Hong Kong and Indochina. In 1953, he traveled throughout Mexico and Panama, and then on to a remote part of Peru, where he was engaged in making a film. Tragically, Bischof died in a road accident in the Andes on 16 May 1954.
Raymond Depardon, born in France in 1942, began taking photographs on his family farm in Garet at the age of 12. He joined the Dalmas agency in Paris in 1960 as a reporter, and in 1966 he co-founded the Gamma agency, reporting from all over the world. From 1974 to 1977, as a photographer and filmmaker, he covered the kidnap of a French ethnologist, François Claustre, in northern Chad. Alongside his photographic career, he began to make documentary films: 1974, Une Partie de Campagne and San Clemente. He has since made eighteen feature-length films and published forty-seven books. Depardon joined Magnum in 1978. He is based in Paris.
David Seymour’s unobtrusive manner, sense of humor and ability to listen, helped in the creation of portraits that went beyond the usual “glamour shots,” conveying an air of relaxed intimacy. Among his subjects were Audrey Hepburn, Joan Collins, Ava Gardner, Kim Novak – and Sophia Loren
Ian Berry was born in Lancashire, England. He made his reputation in South Africa, where he worked for the Daily Mail and later for Drum magazine. He was the only photographer to document the massacre at Sharpeville in 1960, and his photographs were used in the trial to prove the victims’ innocence. Henri Cartier-Bresson invited Ian Berry to join Magnum in 1962 when he was based in Paris. He moved to London in 1964 to become the first contract photographer for the Observer Magazine. Since then assignments have taken him around the world: he has documented Russia’s invasion of Czechoslovakia; conflicts in Israel, Ireland, Vietnam and the Congo; famine in Ethiopia; apartheid in South Africa.
Bruce Gilden is one of the most iconic street photographers of our time. Known for his graphic and often confrontational close-ups made using flash, his images have a degree of intimacy and directness that have become a signature in his work. Though he cut his teeth on the sidewalks of New York City where he grew up, he has since made significant bodies of work in Haiti, Japan, Moscow, France, Ireland and India. “I’m known for taking pictures very close,” says Gilden of his practice. “And the older I get, the closer I get.”
"I hope I have made some good photographs, but what I really hope is that I have done some good photo stories with memorable images that make a point, and, perhaps, even make a difference"
From the first day of confinement following the outbreak of the Covid-19 epidemic, Antoine d’Agata roamed the streets of Paris with a thermal camera to record the viral epidemic that turned the city into a strange theatre of wandering souls, bowed heads and fleeing bodies.
From Al Pacino to Sophie Loren, Welsh photographer David Hurn captured some of the most iconic images of actors, musicians, artists and celebrities of the 1960s and 70s. His compassionate portraits are born out of a skill for building a genuine trust with his subjects that puts them at ease.
A self-taught photographer, Danny Lyon received a BA in history in 1963 from the University of Chicago, where he served as staff photographer for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. From 1965-66 Lyon traveled with the Chicago Outlaws motorcycle club and published his pictures of the club members as The Bikeriders.
For the last fifteen years, Gregory Halpern has been photographing in Omaha, Nebraska, steadily compiling a lyrical, if equivocal, response to the American Heartland. Omaha Sketchbook is ultimately a meditation on America, on the men and boys who inhabit it, and on the mechanics of aggression, inadequacy, and power.
Thomas Hoepker began his photographic career in the 1960s and made his reputation through impactful reportage and stylish color features, working on stories as varied as the culture of the Mayan people, the rise of Muhammad Ali and the politics and everyday life in East Berlin, before the wall fell. He has also spent much time in America, traversing its vast landscape and documenting its perennially alluring vistas.
Dennis Stock evoked the spirit of America through his memorable and iconic portraits of Hollywood stars, most notably James Dean. Other notable projects include his work on the jazz scene and on the California free-loving counter-culture of the 1960s. In the 1990s he went back to his urban origins, exploring the modern architecture of large cities and his later work was mostly focused on the abstraction of flowers.
Constantine Manos completed many assignments documenting American culture. In his series, American Color, he created unique and complex images that freeze surprisingly disparate elements together in a single fascinating frame. Photographing in crowded public places and many unique locales in the United States, such as Venice Beach and Atlantic City, and during special events like Bike Week in Daytona Beach and Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Manos presents a kaleidoscopic view of the United States.
Sabiha Çimen is a self-taught photographer, focusing on women, Islamic culture, portraiture and still life. Working with nostalgia in her images, and drawing on psychological connections with the subjects of her photos to create her visual “autobiography”, Çimen documents a rarely-seen world exploring the dreams and adventures of young Muslim women in Turkey. Çimen joined Magnum as a Nominee in 2020.
"The pictures I took spontaneously - with a bliss-like sensation, as if they had long inhabited my unconscious - were often more powerful than those I had painstakingly composed. I grasped their magic as in passing"
With an unflinching eye and depth of vision, Thomas Dworzak has documented many of this century’s most important news stories since the 1990s. Dworzak started travelling aged 16 to photograph conflicts in Northern Ireland, Palestine and the disintegrating Yugoslavia. Since then, he has gone on to photograph wars in Afghanistan and Iraq post 9/11 as well as the revolutions in the former Soviet republics of Georgia, Kyrgyzstan and Ukraine. Dworzak became a Magnum nominee in 2000 and a full member in 2004.
Zied Ben Romdhane started his career as a commercial photographer. In 2011 he switched to documentary photography and photojournalism. Romdhane published his first book West of Life in 2018 & joined Magnum as a nominee in 2019.
Yael Martínez’s work addresses fractured communities in his native Mexico. He often works symbolically to evoke a sense of emptiness, absence, and pain suffered by those affected by organized crime in the region.
Rafal Milach grew up in Poland during the collapse of the Soviet Union and as a result his work often uses the transformation of the former Eastern Bloc as a lens through which to understand wider issues. His project Black Sea of Concrete, which takes as its subject the grey coastlines of Ukraine, documents a landscape that is struggling with the physical reminders of a difficult past.
Nanna Heitmann is a German / Russian documentary photographer, based in Moscow, Russia. Her works often deal with issues of isolation – physical, social and spiritual – as well as the very nature of how people react to and interact with their environs.
"These photos are very different from my usual work. After decades of a certain type of photography, very kinetic and very dynamic, I have found myself looking for moments of silence. I’d never really photographed my family or the girls very seriously before. Yes, I’ve photographed them with an iPhone, as any other parent would. But I had a sense that I wanted to document this moment. This is the longest I’ve ever stayed with my family because I’m always traveling, always leaving, so to have this time together is very special. At the same time, I do not think of the pictures as a diary of a quarantine. Obviously there is that element, but I wanted to touch something that was more timeless and universal. Something about the girls, about the passage of time, about changes. Something that was in the moment but that also transcended it." Paolo Pellegrin
Erich Hartmann was 16-years-old when he went with his family in 1938 to Albany, New York, as a refugee from Nazi Germany. Hartmann enlisted in the US Army, serving in England, France, Belgium and Germany. At the end of the war, he moved to New York City, where he worked as an assistant to a portrait photographer and then as a freelancer. Hartmann first became known to the wider public through his work for Fortune magazine in the 1950s. Throughout his career, he pursued many long-term personal projects, and photographic interpretations with literary echoes.
Guy Le Querrec has been documenting the jazz scene for decades. Says Le Querrec: “Jazz – my ears, my heart, my emotions need it. Its cadences, its rhythms… And then there’s that crucial word: to practice a photography of improvisation.”
Elliott Landy's images of Bob Dylan and The Band, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrick and many others show the music scene during that time which culminated in the 1969 Woodstock Festival, of which he was the official photographer. He is also known for his work using kaleidoscopes and for his experimental still life of flowers.
A new collection of timeless photographs is available now in 8x10’’ format for the first time. These images are available as a limited edition of 100 prints priced at $399, and once sold will never again be available at this size.
Mark Power’s long-term photographic survey of America grapples with the complexities of its culture and politics. This selection from Good Morning America provides a visual narrative of a country in the midst of change.
The images, by a cross section of Magnum photographers, tackles diverse themes within the genre of ‘nature': landscapes of war, of agriculture, of industry, of cities and motorways, of desolation, celebration and tranquillity.
Eve Arnold was a prolific photographer whose work spanned politics, social issues, and a bit of glamour. This collection celebrates Arnold’s influential body of work from celebrity portraiture to “the underdog”.
Magnum photographers have been documenting the world’s major events and people since the cooperative’s inception in the 1940s. This curation of iconic fine prints celebrates the photographers with some of their most powerful and recognizable images.
Many images from Magnum’s world-renowned archive are available to buy as collectors prints. Please contact our Fine Print Experts for a consultation or to book an appointment.
New York: Photographing the City
New York has been central to the story of Magnum since the agency’s founding in 1947. This curation of fine prints celebrates the influence of the city on the photographers that have lived and worked there.