Izis Captive Dreams (Photographs 1944-1980)

ISBN: 9780500541852
Artist(s): Izis Bidermanas
Author(s): Marie De Thezy
Format: hardback
Year published: 1993
Publisher: Thames & Hudson Ltd
Publisher Location: London
Total Pages: 196
Illustrations: Illustrated in B&W throughout


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The celebrated photographer Izis was born Israel Bidermanas in Lithuania; but in 1931, fleeing poverty, he arrived in the city he was to make his own: Paris. He found work in a portrait studio, but it was his pictures of fellow Resistance fighters, taken near Limoges during the Liberation, that made his reputation. On his return to Paris he met Brassai, and soon became the supreme recorder of his adopted home, the devotee of a “new way of handling the lens”.

Izis’s style was established in his first book, “Paris des Reves” (1949), with its views of a dreamy, enchanted city. In 1949 he also began photojournalism for “Paris Match”, a fruitful collaboration that introduced him to many notable figures: Dufy, Utrillo, Chagall, Pablo Casals – and Colette, who worked together with him on a charming fusion of words and images of favourite pastoral places, “Paradis Terrestre”. He became close friends with Chagall and the poet Jacques Prevert, with whom he collaborated on several projects, including a book on London, “Charmes de Londres”. Like Prevert, Izis loved touring Paris on foot, especially the working-class districts, and he photographed wherever he went. T

he poetry of his own vision, and his portraits of fellow creative intellects, made him the quintessential chronicler of the post-war capital – from its very stones to the heights of its cultural life. “Izis” presents more than 150 of the finest works of this master of his craft a fitting record of a romantic talent and a captivating distillation of time and place.


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