"Raymond Depardon, a sweet moment" at Grand Palais in Paris

From November 14, 2013 to February 10, 2014
"Raymond Depardon, a sweet moment" at Grand Palais in Paris 3 Avenue du Général Eisenhower 75008 Paris fr

Colour appeared in Raymond Depardon's first photographs from the very start. He was only sixteen. Since then, colour has been part of the highlights of his career: the years discovering photography, the first trips to Africa, the great reportages, then recently this "sweet time" which gives the exhibition its title.

The exhibition presents about 160 colour photographs, most unpublished. Taking colour as a guideline, it explores the artist's work and life from the late 1950s to the present day.

First clicks

I did not realise I was a colour photographer. And yet it was there. From the very first pictures. Raymond Depardon. 

For Raymond Depardon, colour is linked to childhood. His first pictures were of his mother, the animals on his parents' farm, the red tractor, the kitchen tablecloth. He was not yet twenty when he "went up" to Paris and moved into the back room of a photographer's shop on Saint Louis Island, where he took a snap of himself on his scooter. He became a photo reporter, he photographed Edith Piaf, he was sent to Africa, he saw the world. Since then, colour has been part of his way of looking at things.


In the 1970s and 1980s, Raymond Depardon worked for big agencies: Dalmas, Gamma, Magnum. He took colour photos, thought in colour, questioning human beings and the right distance from reality. In Chile in 1971, in Beirut in 1978, in Glasgow in 1980 he focused not on events but what was happening around them. These are fundamental reportages. 

Such a sweet time

In the 2000s colour reappeared and took over. It was no longer related to reportage, the press and news stories, but to a quest for personal truth, the search for happiness, a place to live in, a beginning. Depardon rediscovered the light and colour of Ethiopia, South America and the palm groves of Chad. This year, he specially returned in five country (Ethiopia, Chad, Bolivia, Hawaii and United States) in order to realise new photographies for the exhibition.

Such a sweet time reveals a quieter, more inward, more intellectual approach. Raymond Depardon is now, to quote Clément Rosset, looking for the "sweetness of reality". 

Opening times

  • Open daily (except Tuesdays) from 10 am to 8 pm, late closing at 10 pm on Wednesdays
  • Christmas holidays from December 21 to January 4: open daily (except Tuesdays) from 9 am to 10 pm.

Admission fees and rates

  • Full rate: € 11
  • Concession: € 8 (16-25 y.o)
  • Free for visitors under 16

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