Brassaï (Hungarian-French, 1899-1984)

Gyula Halász adopted the name Brassaï after his hometown. From an early age he dreamt of practicing art in Paris, but this was put on hold during WWI when he served in the Austro-Hungarian army. He moved to Berlin and attended the Akademische Hochschule and the Academy of Fine Arts at Berlin-Charlottenburg. During this time, he met other artists such as László Moholy-Nagy and Wassily Kandinsky. It was not until 1924 that Brassaï’s dream to live and work in Paris was realized. He moved to Paris in the 1920s to be a journalist, joining artist circles when he photographed studios in the 1930s for the Minotaure where he met Salvador Dali and Pablo Picasso. He became sought out internationally for artist portraits in major magazines like Harper’s Bazaar. He was known for capturing light, night, and moody weather and atmosphere of the urban streets of Paris.