Exhibitions at MBAL Musée des beaux-arts
Over the past twenty years, Charles Fréger has built up a vast collection of portraits, first by focusing on outfits and uniforms, then by exploring masked traditions on every continent. His photographs confront us with secular figures, beings with multiple and ambiguous identities on which our imagination is projected.
Four series are brought together in this vast exhibition : "Commedia dell’Arte", produced in Venice and showing the body play of his masked characters ; "Yokainoshima", in w… more
“Some have taken up arms, some are making camouflage nets or Molotov cocktails, others are working on logistics or helping the injured… They are the Ukrainian civil resistance, those who gave up their past life to fight.
These are the people you see in these pictures, these are their hopes, their fears… their faces will remain invisible… for the moment. To protect them while many will certainly be led to continue the struggle in hiding.
But one day these faces w… more
Online exhibition www.mbal.ch/orbite-offline/salvatore-vitale/
“Decompressed Prism” is a new step in Salvatore Vitale’s artistic reflection on technology. The artist continues the experimental approach of this installation, initially conceived in a physical space, the Palazzo Santa Margherita in Milan, by investing ORBIT_E, the digital exhibition space that the MBAL launched in 2022. Here he created an original and interactive work that echoes the initial installation.
In the digital space, “Decompressed Prism” takes the form of a non-linear nar… more
Namsa Leuba develops a powerful photographic work with her strange characters photographed in natural landscapes during her travels far from Europe. The African continent in particular exerts an almost magical fascination on the artist. The work eludes definition : is it documentary fiction, fashion images, performances or a vast investigation into non- Western identities?
For the past 10 years, the artist, born of a Guinean mother and a Swiss father, has used the photographic medium to questio… more
Photography Between Art and Fashion
The New Black Vanguard presents artists whose vivid portraits and conceptual images merge art and fashion photography, and break down long-established boundaries. Their work has been featured widely in fashion and society magazines, advertising campaigns and museums, as well as on their own social networks, re-instilling the contemporary visual vocabulary around beauty and the body with new vitality and substance.These images open up the conversation around the representation of the black body a… more
l’ECAL/Ecole cantonale d’art de Lausanne dans le cadre du Bachelor Photographie.
It is in the 1980s that Jean Paul Gaultier overturns dress codes and reveals the porous boundary between masculine and feminine. With playfulness, the fashion designer reverses roles, confounds gender and designs silhouettes that unite masculine sensitivity and feminine power. When they were launched, the brand’s perfume bottles also broke with the androgynous fashion of the 1990s. They have become iconic and are the starting point for the photographic explorations carried out here by the ECAL… more
For nearly twenty years, Erwan Frotin has been engaged in photographic research on plant, mineral and animal forms, while successfully completing advertising and editorial commissions. After graduating from the ECAL in 2002, a school where he influenced several batches of students through his teaching, Frotin has made a name for himself on the international scene, particularly through his still lifes.The wild flowers he immortalizes in a palette of shimmering colours are reminiscent of the herba… more
Treasures of Photography from Swiss Collections
Photography, born in the 19th century, accompanied the discovery of the mountains. The year following its invention, the first photographers set up their darkrooms in the middle of the Alpine landscape. Most of them were enlightened amateurs, passionate about the new medium, which offered images of extraordinary precision. To record and fix the image from the action of light, a good knowledge of chemistry and physics was required. The first photographic process, developed in 1839 and called th… more
“Anima” is a Latin word meaning soul and breath. It evokes both inner dialogue and imagination. By making her works float in space, Mauren Brodbeck plunges us into the heart of nature through her filter –her palette of colours, modified images, and an unusual sound environment. By creating such a singular visual and sound space, the artist invites the public to enter a garden that evokes a dream landscape rather than a realistic documentation of nature. With Anima, Brodbeck explores ma… more
The MBAL invited the Russian-born artist Anastasia Samoylova to create a new installation for the museum’s facade. Her mural piece evokes the Grand Canyon against the backdrop of climate change. For several years the artist, who now lives in the United States, has been creating monumental installations in parallel with her practice as a documentary photographer. Grand Canyons, created in 2021, is part of the Landscape Sublime series begun in 2013. In the series the artist explores the way … more
Ester Vonplon’s herbarium is a collection of leaves, flowers and stems saved from the ephemeral. Each of these plants was exposed to the sun on photosensitive paper, so that their imprint could be deposited on it. No camera was used. In large format, the works acquire a strong iconic presence; in small format, they affirm their fragility.
Photogenic drawing was born with the invention of photography. Developed in England by William Henry Fox Talbot in 1834, it became the first photograp… more
Stanley Kubrick photographs
Before becoming a world-famous director of films such as 2001: A Space Odyssey and A Clockwork Orange, Stanley Kubrick started his career as a photographer. Between the age of 17 and 22, through still photography, Kubrick learnt the art of framing, composition and lighting, his main subject being his hometown, New York. His first photograph was published in 1945 by the famous illustrated magazine Look, of which he had joined the ranks five years before the making of his first short film. The you… more
The New York skyline with its iconic skyscrapers is an extraordinary sight. In 1999, feeling somewhat threatened, Annelies Strba made a film of it. After the events of September 11th, 2001, the artist created New York 2001 from the images she captured two years earlier. The twin towers of the World Trade Center are still standing but appear like dark messengers of their own destiny, like soot-blackened skeletons.more
Street photography has a long tradition in the history of photography. Passers-by, architecture, the bustle of the street have long fascinated photographers who mingle with the crowd while paying close attention to what surrounds them. For thirty years, Beat Streuli (Switzerland, 1957) has been directing his camera at city dwellers as they are absorbed in their daily lives.
The vast cities of our globalized world are swarming with people and public spaces are where the anonymous meet. Installed… more
New York has changed dramatically after being seriously impacted by the pandemic. After seeing its streets emptied, its inhabitants have regained possession of public spaces, but everything is now very different. Living in the centre of Manhattan, Ruba Abu-Nimah, graphic designer and creative director working with some of the best-known fashion photographers, decided to document the city with her phone camera. From the calm to the hustle and bustle of the streets, first with shock then with fasc… more
Street photography is the perfect medium for capturing city life. Passers-by have long fascinated photographers who mingle among the crowds. At a time when social distancing is required and overcrowding seen as a health risk, especially for the elderly, the i series by Eamonn Doyle and Hardened by Jeff Mermelstein on the subject of city dwellers suddenly takes on a new meaning.more
It can be difficult to admit the idea of landscape as fictional artifice, as if it were a contradiction of our own internal experience. But the fascinating work of French artist Noémie Goudal (b. 1984) subtly compels such a realization through infinitely complex structures and her evolving theoretical approach. Her labyrinthine installation on the museum’s ground floor invites the public to stroll among a selection of her recent photographs. Goudal was born in France but studie… more
Mountains have long fascinated photographers from all over the world. The archives of Magnum Photos – the biggest name in photojournalism since its creation in 1947– contain images of some of the world’s highest peaks. Magnum Photos is not known for landscape photography, but the theme runs through the agency’s 80-year history. Many of its members have become important figures in the history of photography: Werner Bischof, René Burri, Robert Capa, Henri Cartie… more
With the aim of inspiring reflection on contemporary landscape, the MBAL partnered with Parc du Doubs (a regional nature park of national importance created in 2012) to organize an artist residency. The photographer Henrik Spohler, born in Germany in 1965, was chosen for the unique approach he applies to today’s landscape during his travels around the world. Spohler’s work always evokes the way humans see nature, at a given time and in a given society. His photographs reveal fas… more
Self-metamorphosis plays a central role in the artistic practice of French artist SMITH (b. 1985), whose poetic images invite reflection and evoke the memory of absent bodies. The Spectographies resemble laboratory images and reference new technologies that allow us to see, touch and communicate with physically absent beings through the screen. SMITH uses an infrared camera to explore and transform anatomy, and to seek to represent what lies beyond the body. The resulting thermographic images, o… more
The work of Laura Letinsky (b. 1962) sends us back in time. Shooting with Polaroid Type 55 film – the famous instant-development process that creates a single image – Letinsky photographs fruit, flowers, food, cutlery, and other everyday objects. Those familiar with the Canadian artist’s work will recognize her still lifes, a genre in which she has stood out since the 1990s. Like many photographers working prior to the digital age, Letinsky used a Polaroid for tests. But just a… more
In fairy tales, the mirror often symbolizes a door to another world. Dutch artist Viviane Sassen (b. 1972) sees her photographic work as a mirror, a means of evoking the world of dreams and exploring the subconscious in everyday moments. The exhibition Hot Mirror, which includes pieces from the past ten years, weaves an astonishing narrative from the work of this internationally acclaimed artist: a sort of self-portrait. Sassen’s photography captures the strange, the magical and the wondro… more
MBAL is hosting the first retrospective of American photographer and filmmaker Alex Prager (b. 1979), one of the most iconic artists of our time. Prager’s unique body of work, built up over the past ten years, consists of photographs and films whose common denominator is a meticulously crafted mise-en-scène. An undeniable sense of Hollywood and pop culture permeates the work of this self-taught, Los Angeles-based artist. This exhibition brings together her most important series of p… more
In his Old Future series, American photographer Erik Madigan Heck (b. 1983) explores the intersection of photography and painting as he borrows from and bends the genres of fashion photography, landscape painting and portraiture. Heck quickly gained prominence as a fashion photographer – his work has appeared in Harper’s Bazaar, Vanity Fair and The New York Times Magazine – while at the same time making a name for himself in the art world thanks to a sui generis photographic la… more
Todd Hido – In the vicinity of narrative
MBAL presents the first exhibition in Switzerland on one of the most admired and influential American photographers of his generation, Todd Hido (1968). In the Vicinity of Narrative reveals an eminently cinematic work, with images as magnetic as they are strange. From houses seen from the outside, abandoned interiors, blurred landscapes taken from the windshield of his car, female characters photographed in motels rooms, Hido's photographs are … more
In 1975, Garry Winogrand (1928-1984), considered one of the greatest photographers of the 20th century, published the photobook Women are Beautiful. A documentary photographer who notably worked for Fortune and LIFE magazines, Winogrand was a keen observer of American life throughout his entire career. His favorite site was New York, his hometown. The cacophony of the streets was something that particularly attracted this photographer's eye. His style of instant photography thereby reveals … more
The work of Thibault Brunet (1982) inscribes itself within landscape photography, particularly in the tradition of major photographic surveys of the 19th and 20th centuries. Yet, this artist has never owned a traditional camera. As his previous work has shown, he excels in depicting the virtual world. This time, Territories circonscrits, his latest series, features real places. Equipped with a 3D scanner made available to him by Leica Geosystems, the artist records 360 degrees of the environment… more
One cannot look at the works of Guy Oberson (1960) absentmindedly. A force emerges that forces the visitor to linger. One’s vision becomes capable of discerning forms little by little, just like how, in the dark, it becomes accustomed to the darkness. Painter and drawer, the Swiss artist has a preference for pierre noir drawing, and it is not uncommon for him to take as a model photographs of his own or from the press. Here, Oberson draws on the works of famous American photographers Diane… more
Photographs from the Collection of Carla Sozzani
It is rare for a museum to dedicate an exhibition to a private collection. Generally, it is a matter of borrowing a work of art here or there, and discretely indicating the name of the generous lender if the latter does not wish to remain anonymous. With this exhibition, Carla Sozzani, a legendary figure of contemporary elegance, welcomes us into her intimate space. Her collection of photographs, which covers the 20th and 21st centuries, is remarkable in all respects. More than 70 photographs… more
Celebrity photography is a genre that never runs out of steam. Portraits of movie stars, artists, statesmen, musicians, athletes… glossy magazines know that success is assured when photography prompts us to dream. Henry Leutwyler (b.1961), a New York photographer of Swiss origins, knows something about this – he who has made portraits of celebrities like Julia Roberts, Michelle Obama or Rihanna, and who works for such prestigious magazines as Vanity Fair, New York Times Magazine, … more
Ina Jang (b.1982), a South Korean artist based in New York, is invited to exhibit her latest project. Through her new series she explores the theme of feminine identity with reference to the fashion image that she also cultivates in her work. Made from images found on Japanese magazine websites, the Utopia series features silhouettes of female bodies in suggestive poses. The artist did not modify the poses or the hair, but we find her signature in the technique of collage and the color treat… more
Paris Photo-Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Awards
The Photobook show inscribes itself in the wake of L’art se livre, a 2014 exhibition dedicated to art and artists’ books. In the framework of this photographic season, the museum focuses on the cult of the photography book, a phenomenon more current than ever. Since the early 1990s, the number of publishers interested in photography has not stopped growing, while digital technologies have placed editing tools directly in the hands of photographers. As much at the level of its cont… more