Germaine Krull: A Photographer’s Journey

Jeu de Paume in Paris presents an exhibition by iconic photographer Germaine Krull.

Krull’s role in the 1920-1940 avant-garde movement and the pioneering of modern photojournalism set her mark in photographic works and development. She is among the greatest in the history of photography yet her work has not been studied in the same scale as her contemporaries Man Ray, László Moholy-Nagy and André Kertész. Krull was also the first to publish her photographic works in book form.

Born in what now forms Poland, Krull had a chaotic childhood as her father travelled frequently in search of work. This included a spell in Paris in 1906. Krull studied photography in Munich, after which she became involved in political upheavals in post-war Germany. During her early career she produced photographs of nude people who were seen as remarkable for their freedom of tone and subject. In 1925, while visiting the Netherlands she became fascinated by the metal structures and cranes in the docks, which led to a photographic series that was well received in the portfolio Métal, following her move to Paris. It was this publication that placed her in the forefront of the avant-garde, the Nouvelle Vision in photography.

Krull’s new status in photography opened up for a prominent position within photographic magazine VU, where she took part in developing a unique style of reporting characterised by freedom of expression and closeness to the subject. Apart from VU, Krull reported for many other magazines including Jazz, Variétés, Art et Médecine and L’Art vivant. Most essentially, and what made her unique to any other photographer of her time, she published a number of books and portfolios as sole author including Métal 1928), 100 x Paris 1929, Études de Nu 1930, Le Valois 1930, La Route Paris-Biarritz 1931, Marseille 1935. She created the first photo-novel with Georges Simenon, La Folle d’Itteville 1931.

Being an energetic spirit with strong political convictions, Kull joined the Free French during the Second World War serving the cause with her camera. Later she followed the Battle of Alsace after which she travelled to Asia where she converted to Buddhism. During these years Krull continued to take photographs, which featured Buddhist sites and monuments. The range of books resulting was completely original for their time.

The exhibition at Jeu de Paume explores Krull’s work in a new light, based on collections that have only recently been made available. This approach seeks to show the balance between a modernist artistic vision and documentation. It focuses on the Parisian period between 1926-1935 by linking 130 vintage prints to period documents including the magazines and books in which Krull played a unique and prominent part. Furthermore, the exhibition seeks to display Krull’s unique reporting style, despite it being difficult to define since it adapts to subjects while remaining constantly innovative in terms of aesthetic innovation.

Germaine Krull: A Photographer’s Journey will be on display from Tuesday 2 June – 27 September 2015 at the Jeu de Paume in Paris, France.

Click here to subscribe to fluoroNotice for advanced news into a world where art, fashion, architecture, history and innovation come together.

Related articles

Anabelle Lacroix, a French Australian curator and writer, engages with the intersections of curating, writing, and public programming, focusing on performance, sound, and speech. Currently


    His artistic process is radical, existing in the digital, intellectual, and sensorial realms. By utilising technology, Breuer projects his mind and dematerialises the creative process, resulting in a visual language that is incredibly light and ethereal.


    The creator’s journey is always a difficult one with its twists and turns, but every creator has its own way of embarking on their unique path. Fan Ho, an internationally renowned photographer who captured Hong Kong in the 50’s and 60’s, devoted his life to evolving his craft.


    John Saint Michel’s position in the fashion arena is not so easy to define — as his recent exhibition at the Discordia Gallery in Melbourne’s Nicholas Building showed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

HTML tags are not allowed.

152,899 Spambots Blocked by Simple Comments