New York

Robert Doisneau

Witkin Gallery

In Paris, since the time of the Haussmann renovations, the swells have lived in the central city and the working class has lived in the suburbs. Robert Doisneau began documenting working-class life in one of those suburbs a little before Spender went to Bolton. The resulting series of pictures show Doisneau to be the equal of Brassai. The suburbs where Doisneau photographed were the ones in which he had grown up and still lived, so the pictures sometimes strike me as running, like those in one’s family album, a bit on the nostalgic side. But really, it was just in the nature of Doisneau’s personality to be friendly. He’s a man who can never tell a story without ending up by hugging himself with mirth. This plain enjoyment of life won him the confidence and candor of his subjects. Doisneau still works as a photographer, and the show contains some recent pictures. But it consists mostly of

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