Almasy Paul
Argintinian family, poor farmers

Paul Almásy

About the artist

1906 — 2003

Born in Budapest in 1906, Paul Almásy would go on to study political science in Vienna and Munich, before becoming a French citizen in 1956. As with other photojournalists of the time, Almásy's photographic work made him one of the mid-20th century's foremost social documentarians. His imagery was global: in 1936, a crossing of the Sahara desert by car was published in the Berliner Illustrirte Zeitung. In the same year, Almásy's lens landed on Finnish athletes training for the Summer Olympics in Berlin.

Trips to Africa and Indochina, and work for UNICEF and the World Health Organisation, would follow. Alongside the French journalist Albert Plécy, Almásy founded the Niépce Prize and the Prix Nadar for photography and photographic journalism. Throughout the '70s and '80s he held a professorship at the Sorbonne in Paris, the city where, in his own words, the past, present and future collided.

Almásy photographed artists from Salvador Dali to Yves Saint Laurent, shot people of all social classes from all walks of life, and attributed everything captured by his lens to chance. He could just as easily capture the excitement of a high-society dinner, a tribal dance, or an intimate kiss between lovers on the street. The clear common thread across Almásy's work is the humanist eye with which all of his scenes were "found" — in the artist's own words.

In 1993, Almásy was made a knight of the Ordre national du Mérite in France. He died, aged 97, outside of Paris in 2003, leaving a vast archive of more than 120,000 negatives to his estate.

Technical information

Image 1: Argintinian family, poor farmers. 1969
Size: 223,4 x 21 cm 
Print techique: platinum print
Extra: copyright Almasy on reverse, written text on reverse, typed explanation pasted on reverse on separate paper