Walk down Rue Léon Frot, the historic street in Paris’s 11th arrondissement, and look out for the grand doorway at number 68.
Located behind that doorway, off an enclosed paved street, is a pivotal development for the medium of contemporary photography—a major new gallery space from Magnum Photos.
Magnum Photos is now “developing as a credible art market player,” the agency’s chief executive officer Caitlin Hughes said as the agency revealed details of the new Parisian gallery.
The space is due to open this autumn following a renovation by the London-based architectural practice Johnson Naylor, who has overseen the development of new exhibition spaces, a library and a suite of offices and meeting spaces behind the doorway of Rue Léon Frot.
The space will open in October 2021 with inaugural exhibitions from the veteran New York photographer Bruce Davidson and his fellow New Yorker Khalik Allah, both chroniclers of Harlem, working 50 years apart.
The new Paris space will oversee both digital and physical programming, reflecting Magnum’s attempts to develop a more integrated approach between its cultural and digital teams.
Whilst Davidson and Allah will be the inaugural physical shows, the new Paris space will oversee a curated programme of digital exhibitions, beginning with There’s no place like home, a show orientated around the themes of domesticity and personal space in difficult times, including the work of more than eight Magnum photographers.
Back in London, Magnum is due to reopen its gallery space on 63 Gee Street, Clerkenwell, in time for London Gallery Weekend (4-6 June), with an exhibition of works by Herbert List, the German fashion photographer who imbued Surrealism into his highly classical practice. The show, titled Metamorphoses (4-30 June), is List’s first UK show for more than five years.
The show explores, with pressing modern relevance, how List—an Athens resident after escaping Nazi Germany as a refugee—used the the details of Greek sculptures as a way to explore the bodies of men.
The images “reflect List’s quest for freedom at a time when the world was going through intensely violent political turmoil,” says Nicolas Smirnoff, Magnum Gallery Director said.