Black and white photography, strictly speaking, appeared in the 1880s, producing contrasts of pure black and white, combined with a range of greys - previously photographers used a palette ranging from sepia to deep blues.
Black and white photography predominated until the 1970s, despite the introduction of color processes. While the use of color intensified in the mid-1970s, black and white continued in some photographic movements that used it as a means of aesthetic expression with an emphasis on graphics and matter. Moreover, it appears as the bearer of a universal, timeless and even memorial dimension, where color would be the translation of the contemporary world. Beyond a
economic and technical justification, the persistence of the use of black and white can be explained by the fact that it has come to embody the very essence of photography and, therefore, "beautiful photography".
The catalog presents a selection of 200 of the exhibition's greatest masterpieces organized into themes (contrasts, light and shadow, color chart...). This tour is put into context by essays dealing with the history, technique, and aesthetic issues of this medium.
Exhibition at the Grand Palais from November 12, 2020 to January,4 2021.
264 pages / 250 illustrations
Dimensions : 24.6 x 27.4 x 2.8 cm
Rmn-Grand Palais Publishing in co-publishing with the Bibliothèque nationale de France
- Paris - Galeries nationales (Grand Palais, Champs Elysées)