Patrick Faigenbaum: Kolkata/Calcutta

September 17–November 7, 2015

Between Salt Lake and Kestopur, northeast Kolkata, July 2014












Display of watermelons, the neighborhood of Raja Bazar, north Kolkata, July 2014












The folk singer Saurav Moni at home with his group, Dum Dum, north Kolkata, July 2014












The great crossroads of Gariahat, which is straddled by the city highway, south Kolkata, October 2014












New Market (a British construction) seen from room 239 on the second floor of the Oberoi Grand Hotel, during the monsoon, central Kolkata, July 2014












Opening reception: Wednesday, September 16, 7:00–8:30 p.m.
Patrick Faigenbaum in conversation with Chris Boot: Tuesday, September 22, 6:30 p.m.

Kolkata/Calcutta inaugurates the newly founded alliance between the Hermès Foundation and Aperture Foundation.

Patrick Faigenbaum is the winner of the 2013 Henri Cartier-Bresson Award. This grant, awarded by the Henri Cartier-Bresson Foundation, provides funding to an artist to produce a major project. Art historian Jean-François Chevrier, professor of the History of Contemporary Art at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris, curated the exhibition.

Faigenbaum’s interest in India goes back to his first trip there in 1995. When Faigenbaum returned in 2014 to complete his project, he chose to photograph and immerse himself in the local culture of Kolkata, which was once the capital of the British Indian Empire. In Kolkata, he photographed and captured the life of one artist, Shreyasi Chatterjee, in her neighborhood and in the local countryside. Faigenbaum was inspired by Chatterjee’s work, which includes painting, collage, and embroidery. “As a whole, the images will constitute both a portrait of this artist in her family and professional settings and a free description of her larger urban environment,” he writes. “In this way, I intend to produce a complex image of one region of the Indian subcontinent which renders both its historical depth and its most vivid features.”

The pictures selected for the book (Lars Müller Publishers, 2015) and exhibition document in particular the region’s music circles and the continuing existence of a cinematic, photogenic quality that is engrained in the space of the city.

Patrick Faigenbaum (born in 1954) lives and works in his native city of Paris. A leading figure on the contemporary photography scene, he worked in residence at the Villa Medici of the French Academy in Rome from 1985 to 1987, and has taught at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris, since 2000. Since 1991, his work has been featured in numerous solo exhibitions at private galleries and public institutions, including a show curated by Jeff Wall at the Vancouver Art Gallery, and entered the world’s leading public and private collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona; Point du Jour, Cherbourg-Octeville, France; and Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Pompidou, Paris. Faigenbaum is represented by Galerie Nathalie Obadia, Paris/Brussels.

Jean-François Chevrier is an art historian, art critic, and exhibition curator. He lives and works in Paris. He is a professor of the History of Contemporary Art at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris.

About the Hermès Foundation’s alliance with Aperture Foundation
In 2014, the Hermès Foundation launched a program of photographers’ residencies and exchanges, exhibitions, and publications with Aperture Foundation in New York. The program marks the Hermès Foundation’s renewed commitment to intervening upstream in the creative process, with support for the production of new photographic work, and a new partnership with a distinguished, internationally acclaimed photography institution.

About the Hermès Foundation
The Hermès Foundation supports people and organizations seeking to learn, perfect, transmit, and celebrate the skills and creativity that shape and inspire our lives today, into the future. Guided by our central focus on artisan expertise and creative artistry in the context of society’s changing needs, the Foundation’s activities explore two complementary avenues: know-how and creativity, know-how and the transmission of skills.

The Foundation develops its own programs in the contemporary visual arts (exhibitions and artists’ residencies), photography (Immersion, in alliance with Aperture Foundation), performing arts (New Settings), design (the Prix Émile Hermès), and craftsmanship (the Skills Academy), together with international calls for projects promoting biodiversity and solidarity. At the same time, we support the activities of organizations in these areas around the world.

The Foundation’s unique, diverse activities are governed by a single, over-arching belief: Our gestures define us.





About the Henri Cartier-Bresson Award
Awarded biennially by the Henri Cartier-Bresson Foundation, the HCB Award is awarded by an international jury to anestablished photographer whose work demonstrates an essentially documentary focus, at a pivotal stage in his or her career. Candidates each submit a new photographic project to be assessed for a one-off grant of €35,000.

The HCB Award enables the winning artist to produce a new photographic work that cannot be realized without the support afforded by the grant. The resulting work is showcased in an exhibition and accompanying catalogue, at the HCB Foundation in Paris, within eighteen months of the presentation of the award.

Since 2013, the HCB Award is supported by the Hermès Foundation, which has forged an exclusive alliance with the Henri Cartier-Bresson Foundation.