Philippe Halsman (Riga, Latvia, 1906 ? New York, USA, 1979) experimented with photography throughout his career. He always insisted that there was much unexplored creative potential with regard to the image, summing up this opinion by quoting Sergei Diaghilev’s reply when Jean Cocteau asked him what he needed to do to in order work with him: “Astonish me!”. With this retort in mind, Halsman forged a career that spanned more than four decades, firstly in Paris and later in the United States, leaving dozens of iconic images in the popular imagination.
The exhibition that ”la Caixa” Foundation now presents in cooperation with the Musée de l’Elysée of Lausanne is the most complete retrospective ever devoted to the American photographer, featuring not only some of his best-known portraits, but also many little-known images. Particularly interesting among the 300 documents that form Astonish Me! are the large group of pieces that have never been shown before ?contact sheets, preliminary proofs, original photomontages and so on? that now see the light thanks to the cooperation of the artist’s family with this exhibition project.
Philippe Halsman. Astonish Me! Dates: From 15 July to 6 November 2016. Place: CaixaForum Barcelona (Av. de Francesc Ferrer i Guàrdia, 6-8).