fri 21/02/2020

Hoppé Portraits: Society, Studio and Street, National Portrait Gallery | reviews, news & interviews

Hoppé Portraits: Society, Studio and Street, National Portrait Gallery

Hoppé Portraits: Society, Studio and Street, National Portrait Gallery

A lost world regained by an extraordinary eye

British Museum Underground Station: 'a terrific evocation of a lost world'All images © 2011 Curatorial Assistance, Inc. / E.O. Hoppé Estate Collection

If you’ve seen pictures of the Ballets Russes, then you’ve seen Hoppé photographs. But then, if you’ve seen any society pictures from the 1920s and 1930s, then you’ve seen Hoppé. And famous writers. In fact, for portrait photography in Britain between the World Wars, you can pretty well bet the photo is Hoppé’s. But what's so good about this new exhibition is that it shows a side to Hoppé that is much less well-known - the street-view. And these photographs are thrilling, in form as well as content.

Hoppé is like Cartier-Bresson: he makes the ordinary extraordinary

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I went to this exhibition this week with a friend and was totally absorbed.A wonderful pictorial chronicle of the times,it was nearly lost to view in the Fifties,until an archivist uncovered the pictures,which had been badly chronicled,and thus saved these amazing photographs for posterity. In these modern times,when buildings like The Shard threaten to dominate the landscape,this exhibition is invaluable as a reminder of the simplicity of visual arts- in an era which,sadly,is in danger of being completely obscured. Thank you for this article.

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