One hundred photographs to celebrate the centenary of the birth in Lyon (Saint-Genis-Laval) of Marc Riboud, a photographer and traveler who witnessed major societal transformations around the world. His reportages, particularly in China, have made him internationally renowned. He spent his life traveling. From India to China, Algeria to Ghana or Nigeria, he looked at all the cultures of the world with a curious and tender eye, especially in Asia, where he would go back many times.
A member of the Magnum Photos agency and a close friend of great photographers such as Henri Cartier-Bresson and Robert Capa, Marc Riboud traveled the world armed with his camera and his unique sense of composition. He leaves behind an incredible diversity of deeply human reportages.
If his instinct for geometry is a feature of his work, the human presence in his images, visible or invisible, reveals his natural empathy for those who fight for their freedom.
In 100 photographs, this exhibition presents a glimpse of the richness and diversity of Marc Riboud’s work and enlights the photographers’ passion: to understand the world and meet others. In collaboration with Les amis de Marc Riboud.
This exhibition benefited from loans from Marc Riboud’s photographic archive, donated in 2019 to Guimet National Asian Arts Museum (Paris). This project is also an opportunity to collaborate between two museums historically linked to Emile Guimet, a collector passionate about the travels and study of foreign civilizations, just like Marc Riboud was, in his own way, one century later.
To accompany this exhibition, Atelier EXB is publishing the monograph For the long haul (to be published in March 2023) presenting the iconic works as well as several unpublished series. With its large album format and portfolios of contact sheets, a nod to the pioneers of photography, the book takes us from the first itineraries to the abstract visual explorations of the 2000’s where the photographic becomes painting. An essay by journalist and writer Éric Fottorino sheds light on this visual corpus.
About the Author
Marc Riboud was born in 1923 in Saint-Genis-Laval near Lyon. In 1937 at the Exposition Universelle in Paris he took his first photos using a pocket Kodak given to him by his father for his 14th birthday. In 1944 he joined the resistance in the Vercors. From 1945 – 1948 he studied engineering at the Ecole Centrale in Lyon and started to work. Three years after he made the decision to become a photographer.
In 1953 his photograph of a painter on the Eiffel Tower appeared in Life Magazine. This was his first publication. Invited by Henri Cartier-Bresson and Robert Capa he joined Magnum Photos.
In 1955, he traveled by road through the Middle East and Afghanistan to India and stayed for one year. In 1957 he traveled from Calcutta to China making the first of what were many long stays. His road trip to the East ended in Japan where he found the subject for what became his first book, Women of Japan.
In 1960, after a three-month stay in the USSR, he covered the struggle for independence in Algeria and Sub-Saharan Africa. Between 1968 and 1969 he photographed in both South and North Vietnam, one of the few photographers allowed entry to both.
In the 80s and 90s, he returned regularly in Orient and Far East, especially Angkor and Huang Shan, but he also followed the rapid and considerable change of China, a country he had been looking at for thirty years.
In 2011 Marc Riboud made a dation in payment of 192 original prints made between 1953 and 1977 to the National Museum of Modern Art (Centre Georges Pompidou), Paris. His work has won many prestigious awards and is exhibited in museums and galleries in Paris, New York, Shanghai, Tokyo, and more.
Marc Riboud passed away in Paris, at 93 years old, on August 30th, 2016. The core of his archives has been donated to the National Museum of Asian Arts – Guimet, Paris.
Marc Riboud: 100 photographs for 100 years
From 24 February 2023 to 31 December 2023
Musée des Confluences – Lyon – France