The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
Dina Mitrani Gallery opened up in 2008, with the mission to show photography exclusively. Several other galleries throughout the years dedicated themselves to this art form, but not many. So she has a niche in Miami, and has exhibited both local and national artists, but usually all contemporary.
This Art Basel is an exception, as Mitrani is featuring a mid-century French artist Willy Ronis, with a special book-signing on Monday night, making it one of the first Basel week openings (in fact the exhibit has been up, but this is the official unveiling).
Born to Jewish immigrants from Russia, Ronis’ first love was music, and his mother taught piano. But he was also inspired by the great early photographers Ansel Adams and Alfred Stieglitz. Although he started shooting everyday shots of people and places in Paris before World War II, his career would take off after the war, when he was associated with other major photographers such as Cartier-Bresson. While he shot what could be considered photojournalism as well, he is best known for his day-in-the-life shots, which many have pointed about includes a musicality to them, in composition and feel. Said Ronis of his work: “Many of my photographs are taken from above, either looking down or up, three planes in one image, like three different melodies in a fugue which work together to give the piece structure and harmony.”
Ronis would go on to work for Life and Vogue magazines, and eventually would be given major museum shows such as the ones at New York’s MOMA in the mid-1950s. He pursued his shutter-bug love for most of his long-life – he lived until age 99.
This exhibit “Willy Ronis: Paris” is in collaboration with the South California-based Peter Fetterman Gallery, which has one of the largest collections of 20th-century photography.
“Willy Ronis: Paris” opening and book signing at 7 p.m., Monday, Dec. 3, at the Dina Mitrani Gallery, 2620 N.W. 2nd Ave., Miami; 786-486- 7248; www.dinamitranigallery.com.