In the first three decades of the twentieth
century, Eugène Atget (1857-1927) tirelessly and sensitively photographed
the city of Paris and its environs. Though Atget considered himself a
photographic illustrator of Paris and not an artist, and refused to allow
himself to be judged by fashionable contemporary artistic mores or use
his socially accepted status as "artisan," he inadvertently
established himself as one of the 20th century’s greatest photographers.
It is the intuitive visual quality of his work that has continued to attract
the attention and admiration of later photographers who—as the exhibition
demonstrates—have shared ideas of the "ready-made," common aesthetic
approaches, related subject matter, and the use of serial photography.