Last year, the great French publisher, Robert Delpire (1926-2017), passed away at the age of 91. To celebrate the life and achievements of this extraordinary publisher the Rencontres d’Arles photography festival hosts a spectacular exhibition: https://www.rencontres-arles.com/en/expositions/view/746/robert-delpire-photo-poche
Famously known for inventing the ‘Photo Poche‘ book format, a small format photographic album, Delpire published many iconic photobooks throughout his career. Among the most well known are: Les Américains (1958; The Americans) by Robert Frank, Les Gitans: La Fin du Voyage (1975; Gypsies) by Josef Koudelka, Moscou (1955; The People of Moscow). By Henri Cartier-Bresson, Indiens pas morts (1956; “Indians not dead“). By Werner Bischof, Robert Frank and Pierre Verger, Tokyo (1964) by William Klein.
The exhibition in Arles is accompanied by a launch of a new book, ‘C’est de voir qu’il s’agit’ featuring an image of Delpire made by Sarah Moon. A very personal account of thoughts on photography, meetings and friendships with famous image makers like Cartier-Bresson and a deep and well written photographic philosophy, which places this book firmly in a pantheon of photographic writing by Sontag, Barthes, Flusser, Burgin and Ritchin. ‘One thing is to give somebody something to see, another – to give somebody to think about something one has just seen’ Delpire famously said.
This highly recommended volume will bring you hours of pleasant reading if you are interested in all things photographic: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Cest-voir-sagit-Robert-Delpire/dp/B06WWBBDZP/
Robert Frank (1958) Les Américains, Delpire (The Americans)
Josef Koudelka (1975) Les Gitans: La Fin du Voyage, Delpire (Gypsies)
Henri Cartier-Bresson (1955) Moscou, Delpire (The People of Moscow)
Werner Bischof, Robert Frank and Pierre Verger (1956) Indiens pas morts, Delpire (Indians not dead)
William Klein (1964), Delpire Tokyo
Robert Delpire (2018) C’est de voir qu’il s’agit, Libella, Paris
Photobook series by Delpire (c) Robert Delpire