Blog | HPRG Four new exhibitions at the BNF starting 19th May 2021 ! – Hotels Paris Rive Gauche Blog

Four new exhibitions at the BNF starting 19th May 2021 !

Paris’ museums and galleries are very much looking forward to reopening on the 19th May 2021, especially the BNF (French National Library) close to our hotels which has not one, not two, not three but four exhibitions on offer, and free entrance (reservation required) for the first three days!

On offer: Henri-Cartier Bresson – Le Grand Jeu, The Invention of Surrealism: from the Champs Magnétiques to Nadja, In transit: photos by Paul Ickovic and Amos Gitaï who has created giant poster-montages from the research done for his film Rabin: the Last Day.

Exposition Henri-Cartier Bresson - Le Grand Jeu à la BNF Paris du 19 mai au  22 août 2021
© Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson / Magnum Photos

Wednesday 19th May was probably be festive for those working at the BNF, near our hotels. They have four exhibitions that have been ready to open for quite a while, and finally the day has come!

The exhibition Henri-Cartier Bresson – Le Grand Jeu, organised in collaboration with the Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson and the Pinault Collection, delves into 385 of Cartier-Bresson’s best photos (according to him) in the best possible prints – something called The Master Collection.

The selection of shots has been made by five guest curators including François Pinault, Wim Wenders and Annie Leibovitz, all of whom were given free rein in their choice, frame, background and staging. Interesting!

An English catalogue of the exhibition is also available here at amazon.fr (352 pages, 53€).

For more info about the exhibition, click here.

Catalogue Henri-Cartier Bresson - Le Grand Jeu, disponible sur amazon.fr

The Invention of Surrealism: from the Champs magnétiques to Nadja celebrates 100 years since the publication by André Breton and Philippe Soupault of their work Les Champs magnétiques, written at the Hotel des Grands Hommes (true story!)

It’s the first large-scale exhibition dedicated to literary surrealism, and hinges on this “first purely surrealist work” (as Breton called it) with more than 200 items brought together for the occasion.

Exposition L’Invention du surréalisme : des Champs magnétiques à Nadja à la BNF Paris

The firts part of the exhibition Guerre et esprit nouveau sets the scene and explains the influences of surrealism (including costumes from the ballet Parade designed by Picasso), before moving on to Rêve et automatisme (automatic writing), Manifestes et provocations (about the many sides of dadaism) and finishing with Amour et folie : Nadja, l’âme errante.

A catalogue of the exhibition provides even more information(224 pages, 80 illustrations, 29€ here at amazon.fr).

Catalogue de l'exposition L'Invention du surréalisme - Des Champs magnétiques à Nadja sur amazon.fr

The third exhibition, In transit: photos by Paul Ickovic, is the first French retrospective of the Czech photographer’s work, showing the similitudes between his work and that of Cartier-Bresson – street photography, but in the 20th century.

Exposition En transit : photographies de Paul Ickovic à la BNF, Paris
Boy and pram, Prague, Czechoslovakia – Paul Ickovic

The pieces on show are part of a recent donation to the BNF, and nearly forty shots are displayed as testament to the photographer’s humanism, together with his letters to fellow photographers and idols including Cartier-Bresson himself.

You may like to know that Ickovic is still alive (he’s 77 now) and you’ll find more info about his work – and the limited edition book being published to accompany the exhibition – on his website www.paulickovic.photography.

More info on the exhibition itself here.

Exposition En transit : photographies de Paul Ickovic à la BNF, Paris
Sara, Barcelona, Spain – Paul Ickovic

And the last exhibition opening on 19th May 2021 at the BNF (phew!) is by Amos Gitaï who in 2005 gifted his vast research for his film Rabin: the Last Day. The donation forms the basis for the exhibition, showing both his documentary and artistic side.

Exposition Amos Gitaï à la BNF, Paris
© Béatrice Lucchese / BnF

The exhibition is made up of photos of filming, stills from the film, work documents, press clippings and flyers, put together on 16 large panels that can be seen down the allée Julien Cain inside the BNF.

And to learn more about the subject, a book has just been published (in French) – Amos Gitai. Yitzhak Rabin. Chroniques d’un assassinat, available at amazon.fr (here, 240 pages, 26€).

Amos Gitai. Yitzhak Rabin. Chroniques d’un assassinat, disponible chez amazon.fr

So there you go! Four exhibitions just a few minutes from our hotels starting 19th May 2021! Special rates are available if you want to see two exhibition during one visit, and don’t forget that entrance is free on 19th, 20th and 21st May 2021 (be sure to book your free ticket herei).


The exhibitions Henri-Cartier Bresson – Le Grand Jeu, L’Invention du surréalisme : des Champs magnétiques à Nadja, En transit : photographies de Paul Ickovic and Amos Gitaï are at the BNF (here) starting 19th May 2021

Closing dates differ (mostly August)

Open Tuesday-Saturday 10am-7pm and Sunday 1-6pm

Admission: 9€ / 11€ for two exhibitions

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