Sabine Weiss, the last humanist photographer, dies

The photographer French-Swiss Sabine weiss, considered the last disciple of the French humanist school, died Tuesday at home in Paris at the age of 97 yearshis family and team said in a statement Wednesday.

Born in Switzerland in 1924, Weiss lived in Paris, where she had her workshop installed, her team told AFP.

As that Doisneau, Boubat, Willy Ronis or Izis, Sabine Weiss immortalized the simple life of the people, without boasting or arrogance.

I never considered that I was doing humanistic photography. A good photo should move, be well composed and naked, “he told La Croix newspaper. Winner of the 2020 Women in Motion photography award, Sabine Weiss has starred in over 160 exhibitions around the world.

Born as Weber on July 23, 1924 in Saint-Gingolph, by the lake from Geneva, Sabine Weiss acquired her first camera at the age of 12 with your pocket money and learned the trade at age 16 in a famous Geneva studio. He came to Paris in 1946 and started working for the fashion photographer Willy Maywald.

Pioneer of postwar photography, eclectic in training, and lover of both color and black and white, saw his career take off in the Paris of the fifties.

The year of his marriage, 1950, he opened his studio in the 16th arrondissement; in the same period, Doisneau introduced her to Vogue and the Rapho agency (now Gamma-Rapho).

He began to frequent the artistic circles of the time, portraying Stravinsky, Britten, Dubuffet, Léger or Giacometti. He worked for renowned magazines such as Newsweek, Time, Life, Esquire, or Paris-Match, and triumphed in several records: from the report (he traveled a lot), to advertising, fashion, entertainment, or architecture.

With a discreet personality and less known to the general public than other photographers of his time, This effervescent woman of just over five feet denied having suffered “discrimination” as a woman.

Above all, Weiss tirelessly toured the French capital, sometimes with her husband the American painter Hugh Weiss, often at night, to freeze fleeting moments: workers in action, furtive kisses, comings and goings on the subway … With his camera, he said, he liked to capture the “brats”, “beggars” or “smiles” that he crossed in the street.

In photography I have done everything, “he confided to AFP in 2020.

I went to morgues, factories, I photographed rich people, I took fashion photos… But what remains, are just the photos that I took just for myself, on the go ”.

Prolific and generous, in 2017 he left some 200,000 negatives and 7,000 contact sheets to the Elysee Museum in Lausanne.

I don’t know how many photos I took, he told AFP in 2014, anyway that doesn’t mean much. “