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Delpire & Co.

Aperture Foundation
547 West 27th Street, 4th Floor, 212-505-5555
May 9 - July 19, 2012
Reception: Wednesday, May 9, 6 - 8 PM
Web Site

As part of our sixtieth anniversary celebration, Aperture Foundation, in collaboration with our partners presents the exhibition Delpire & Co. featuring a half century of achievement in the life and career of visionary French publisher, editor, and curator Robert Delpire, who has realized some of the most groundbreaking projects—in books, magazines, exhibitions, and advertising campaigns—in the history of photography.

Aperture Gallery, The Gallery at Hermès, Cultural Services of the French Embassy, and La Maison Française of New York University

Over the past sixty years, the eyes and instincts of Robert Delpire have shaped much of the world’s understanding of photography. A prolific publisher and exhibition organizer, with a razor-sharp comprehension of the graphic arts, Delpire has had a defining hand in the careers of many of the master photographers of recent history.

Delpire & Co. (Delpire et Cie, in the original French) was one of the highlights of the Rencontres d’Arles in summer 2009, and was subsequently given a major presentation at la Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris from October 2009 to January 2010 with the continued support of the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès.

The exhibition showcases Delpire’s rise to prominence in the world of photography through his pioneering and seminal work in magazine and book publishing, films, curatorship, and advertising for the past fifty years.

Delpire & Co. will be divided among four different venues, creating altogether a comprehensive exhibition on Delpire’s many initiatives. Howard Greenberg Gallery and Pace/MacGill Gallery will also have exhibitions concurrently on view in celebration of Robert Delpire’s life and work.

Aperture Gallery 547 W. 27th St., 4th Floor New York, NY; (212) 505-5555

Opening reception: Wednesday, May 9, 6:00–8:00 pm Exhibition on view: May 10–July 19, 2012 Viewing times: Monday–Saturday, 10:00 am–6:00 pm

Presenting classical and seminal publications by now-iconic photographers such as Henri Cartier-Bresson, William Klein, Robert Frank, Josef Koudelka, and Sarah Moon. Delpire’s work with magazines will also be featured, including the very first issue of Neuf from 1950 and the seven issues of Nouvel Observateur Spécial Photo. Also presented in this space will be Delpire’s advertising projects for diverse clients from Cacharel, Citroën, L’Oréal, and the French Ministry of Culture.

The Gallery at Hermès/Fondation d’entreprise Hermès 691 Madison Ave. New York, NY; (212) 751-3181 Opening reception: Thursday, May 10, 7:00–9:00 pm, by invitation only. Exhibition on view: May 11–July 19, 2012 Viewing times: Monday–Saturday, 10:00 am–6:00 pm, except Thursday: 10:00 am–7:00 pm

The Gallery at Hermès, a space dedicated exclusively to photography, will present prints from more contemporary photographers such as Harry Gruyaert, Jehsong Baak, Michel Vanden Eeckhoudt, Michael Ackerman, Francesco Zizola, Raymond Depardon, Robert Doisneau, Paolo Pellegrin, and Marc Riboud. Their books will also be on display so that the visitors can engage further with these photographers’ bodies of work. This space also will showcase the Photo Poche series.

Cultural Services of the French Embassy 972 Fifth Ave. New York, NY; Opening reception: Thursday, May 10, 6:00–8:00 pm, by invitation only Exhibition on view: May 11–June 8, 2012 Viewing times: Monday–Friday, 2:00 pm–6:00 pm

Cultural Services of the French Embassy will present Delpire’s children books, including the original French edition of Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are and Crocodile Tears by André François. These publications have entertained several generations of children since the 1950s until now.

La Maison Française of New York University 16 Washington Mews (at University Place) New York, NY; (212) 998-8750 Opening reception: Friday, May 18, 6:00–8:00 pm Exhibition on view: May 21–July 19, 2012 Viewing times: Monday–Friday, 10:00 am–5:00 pm

La Maison Française will showcase the Poche Illustrateur series, celebrating notable illustrators such as Roman Cieślewicz, Honoré Daumier, Etienne Delessert, Guy Peellaert, and Saul Steinberg.

In addition, two supporting exhibitions will be on view; Sarah Moon: Now and Then at Howard Greenberg Gallery, featuring new work, and Pace/MacGill Gallery will exhibit works by prominent photographers in A Tribute to Robert Delpire: Robert Frank, Lee Friedlander, Josef Koudelka, Duane Michals, and Paolo Roversi.

Howard Greenberg Gallery 41 E. 57th St. New York, NY; (212) 334-0010 Opening reception: May 10, 6:00–8:00 pm Exhibition on view: May 11–June 23, 2012 Viewing times: Tuesday–Saturday, 10:00 am–6:00 pm

Howard Greenberg Gallery will showcase the work of Sarah Moon.

Pace/MacGill Gallery 32 E. 57th St., 9th Floor New York, NY; (212) 759-7999 Opening reception: May 10, 6:00–8:00 pm Exhibition on view: May 10–June 16, 2012 Viewing times: Tuesday–Friday, 9:30 am–5:30 pm, Saturday 10:00 am–6:00 pm

Pace/MacGill Gallery will showcase the work of Robert Frank, Lee Friedlander, Josef Koudelka, Duane Michals, and Paolo Roversi.


At just twenty-three years old, Robert Delpire founded Neuf, an art magazine that brought together a range of artists, writers, and thinkers, among them André Breton, Jacques Prévert, Henry Miller, Henri Michaux, and Jean-Paul Sartre. In the early 1950s, he began to publish the work of photographers who were later to be recognized as major figures in the genre—Cartier-Bresson, Brassaï, Doisneau, Lartigue, and Bischof—and in 1958 he published Robert Frank’s seminal work The Americans. Delpire was awarded a Gold Medal for Graphic Arts and was a multiple winner of the Nadar Prize.

In 1955 he created the visual concept for the review L’Oeil, where he continued to serve as artistic director for the following eight years.

In 1963, he opened rue de l’Abbaye, a gallery which would display the work of leading photographers, illustrators, and graphic artists such as André François, Savignac, Alain Le Foll, Saul Steinberg, and Herb Lubalin, Milton Glaser, and Bob Blechman.

He also founded a PR company that, as a subsidiary of the Advico Group, handled numerous international accounts. As creative director, he twice won the Grand Prix for publicity, first in 1968 for la Banque Nationale de Paris, and in 1975 for Citroën. In addition to producing advertising films, he also produced the classic short Corps Profond (In the Depths of the Human Body, 1963), as well as the William Klein films Qui êtes Vous Polly Maggoo (Jean Vigo Prize, 1967) and Cassius le Grand. Delpire himself was the director of Flagrants Delits, a thirty-minute film on the work of Cartier-Bresson.

In 1982 he was appointed by French Minister of Culture Jack Lang as head of France’s Centre national de la Photographie (CNP). There, he founded and published Photo Poche, the first portable paperback series devoted to photography. He produced television programs such as Une minute pour une image and Contacts, 150 explorations of particular themes such as identity, botany, vanity, etc., and monographs of numerous leading photographers, including Irving Penn, Robert Frank, and William Klein, which have since been broadcast around the globe. In 1996, Delpire left the CNP. The publisher Actes-Sud took over Photo Poche, which assured its continuation as the best selling photographic periodical in the world.

Delpire continued to publish multiple series of illustrated books under his own name, including Maestro (featured artists included Sarah Moon, which won a 2008 Nadar prize, and Joel-Peter Witkin), Des Images et des Mots (featured artists included Henri Cartier-Bresson, Duane Michals, Ernest Pignon Ernest), and Poche Illustrateur (featured artists included André François, Honoré Daumier, Saul Steinberg). Following the launch of the Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson in 2002, Delpire was appointed president of the HCB Award.

As artistic director of the Fait & Cause gallery, which specializes in social issues, he presented several exhibitions since 1997 such as Jacob Riis, Mary Ellen Mark, Stanley Greene, Robert Doisneau, and Raymond Depardon. He organized and conceived exhibitions such as Henri Cartier-Bresson’s De qui s’agit-il, which is circulating through the world, and many others for the Palazzo della Espozioni in Rome and other major exhibitors and museums in Helsinki, Tokyo, Sao Paulo, London, and Paris, as well as the exhibition La terre vue du ciel, whose installation in the Parc du Luxembourg was seen by millions and achieved a measure of success unprecedented in the history of photography.

Delpire & Co. is coproduced by Rencontres d’Arles, la Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Delpire Editeur, and Aperture Foundation.

New York City exhibition partners: The Gallery at Hermès and Cultural Services of the French Embassy.

Delpire & Co. has been made possible with the support of the National Endowment for the Arts, Fondation d’entreprise Hermès, Etant donnés: The French-American Fund for Contemporary Art, the E.T. Harmax Foundation, and with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.
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