Works by master humanist photographer Marc Riboud, known for some of the most iconic images of the 20th century, will be on view at the Crow Collection of Asian Art’s LinkAsia gallery Saturday, October 2, through Sunday, January 30, 2011. Tibet: The Land Closest to the Sky, Photographs by Marc Riboud will be the first solo exhibition in Texas for the 87-year-old French photographer. Riboud’s most memorable images range from painters at work on the Eiffel Tower balanced like dancers on powerful metal girders, to a young woman protesting against the Vietnam War, facing down a barrage of rifles with a flower in her hand. The exhibit is free and open to the public.
“A majority of the photographs in this exhibition have never been unveiled to the public,” said Amy Hofland, director of the Crow Collection. “We are extremely honored to have the opportunity to host Riboud’s first solo exhibition in Texas and look forward to presenting these stunning works to the world.”
The exhibition includes 26 photographs in color and black-and-white taken during Riboud’s travels to Tibet in 1985. More than two-thirds of the photographs are unknown to the public. Also on view will be a collection of personal treasures and objects, such as the photographer’s Leica camera, letters from his mentor Henri Cartier-Bresson, and souvenirs from his travels.
Riboud has never claimed to exert any social role or seek any truth through his photography. Yet his photos of Tibet, taken before the ethnic submersion, speak of politics, religions, morals, culture, but above all, of people. In his words, “Photography cannot change the world, but it can show the world, especially when it is changing.”
Riboud arrived in Tibet with a curiosity to “observe” up close while the world was talking about it from afar. A single image blends everything together: faces, costumes, landscapes, buildings, shrines and, more secretly, ideas and dogmas. The Tibetan images are cheerful, colorful and attentive, both in their treatment of landscape and portraiture. A love for life emanates from the photographs of this humanist photographer.
In Tibet, known as the Roof of the World, the clouds and rain are stopped by the Himalayas; the light is a miracle of beauty. Tibet’s high altitude (14,764 feet) and thin atmosphere allow the sun’s solar radiation to strike the earth with unusual intensity. Each parcel of landscape, from the closest to most distant, is illuminated by this unique transparent light. It was this irradiating light that urged Riboud to take his first photograph in color after nearly 35 years of professional practice solely in black and white images.
Born in 1923 in Lyon, France, Marc Riboud took his first photographs at age 14 with his father’s vest pocket Kodak. After serving in the French Resistance during World War II, he worked as an engineer until 1951, when he took up photography. In 1953, Riboud joined the newly established Magnum photo agency, becoming a protégé of both Henri Cartier-Bresson and Robert Capa, two of Magnum’s founders.
In 1957, Riboud was one of the first European photographers to go to China. In 1968, 1972 and 1976, he made several reports on North Vietnam and later traveled all over the world, mostly in Asia, Africa and the United States. His journey continues into the 21st century. While many of his shots reveal the anguish of war, others capture the fleeting delights of ordinary life, nature, harmony and the simplicity of humankind.
Admission is free. The Crow Collection of Asian Art is open Tuesdays – Thursdays (10 a.m. – 9 p.m.), Fridays – Sundays (10 a.m. – 6 p.m.) and closed on Mondays. For more information, please go to crowcollection.org or call 214-979-6430.
About The Crow Collection
The Trammell & Margaret Crow Collection of Asian Art is located in the Arts District of downtown Dallas. The Crow Collection offers three floors of galleries with changing exhibitions of the arts of China, Japan, India and Southeast Asia. LinkAsia, a newly designated gallery space at the Crow Collection is devoted to artists and media providing perspectives on contemporary Asia. The museum offers a serene setting for quiet reflection and shared learning throughout the galleries and in Snuff Bottle Court – the outdoor Japanese garden at the corner of Harwood and Flora.
IMAGES AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST