尤金．阿傑(1857-1927)出生於法國西南的利布爾內，在嘗試學習油畫與戲劇後，最終在巴黎找到一生的興趣：攝影。世紀之交的巴黎，正一步步地走進現代化當中。尤金．阿傑利用攝影記錄現代化之前的巴黎景象，其照片原本是畫家、建築師與舞台設計師的創作素材，生前沒有獲得廣大的名聲，死後卻透過攝影師曼．雷在達達與超現實主義藝術圈中聲名大噪，再藉由美國攝影師Berenice Abbott撰文介紹，進而影響美國社會寫實攝影師Walker Evans與英國攝影師Bill Brandt。
Eugène Atget s unique city portrait
A flaneur and photographer at once, Eugène Atget (1857 1927) was obsessed with walking the streets. After trying his hand at painting and acting, the native of Libourne turned to photography and moved to Paris. He supplied studies for painters, architects, and stage designers, but became enraptured by what he called “documents” of the city and its environs. His scenes rarely included people, but rather the architecture, landscape, and artifacts that made up the societal and cultural stage.
Atget was not particularly renowned during his lifetime but in the 1920s came to the attention of the Dada and Surrealist avant-garde through Man Ray. Four of his images, with their particular fusion of mimesis and mystery, appeared in the surrealist journal, La Révolution Surréaliste, while Ray and much of his artistic circle purchased Atget prints. His fame grew after his death, with several articles and a monograph by Berenice Abbott. Several leading photographers, including Walker Evans and Bill Brandt, have since acknowledged their debt to Atget.
This fresh TASCHEN edition gathers some 500 photographs from the Atget archives to celebrate his oustanding eye for the urban environment and evocation of a Paris gone by. Down main streets and side streets, past shops and churches, through courtyards and arcades and the 20 arrondissements, we find a unique portrait of a beloved city and the making of a modern photographic master.