Eugène Atget: Trees

Fraenkel Gallery is pleased to present the exhibition Trees from May 1 through June 28, 2003.

The current exhibition unites approximately sixteen photographs that focus on a single subject of special interest to Atget throughout his career: trees.  Eugène Atget made studies of trees in Saint-Cloud, Buttes Chaumont, and Versailles, among other places.  His arboreal portraits illustrate the distinctive ways that trees effloresce, root, and occupy space and light.  Ever eager to add a new tree to his collection, Atget would often return to a place to photograph the familiar subject in a different seasonal light.  This series of images is so integral to the understanding of Atget’s work that the Museum of Modern Art presented an entire exhibition devoted to the body of work in 1972 and a book to be titled Eugène Atget’s Trees: Newly Discovered Photographs from the Bibliotheque Nationale de France is to be published later this year.

Eugène Atget, born in 1857, turned to photography in his late 40s in order to build a body of work which illustrated the city of Paris and its environs.  This project, comprised of 10,000 photographs, became a modern urban portrait ahead of its time. Atget received little recognition before his death in 1927, but due to the posthumous efforts of photographer Berenice Abbott, his work was preserved, promoted, and gained its rightful place in history.

Trees is exhibited in conjunction with Robert Adams: Summer Nights.