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Exhibition Métro Saint-Sulpice by Evvy Eisen

Photographer Evvy Eisen was born and educated in New York City and has lived in the Bay Area since 1966. She specializes in environmental portraits, often of people involved in socially relevant issues. Two such long-term projects are “Multiply by Six Million”, photographs of Holocaust Survivors living in California and France and “Oyster Farm”, images of the workers and environment taken during the final year of operation of the historic Drakes Bay Oyster Company in West Marin.

Evvy photographs in a classic portrait tradition utilizing black and white film, a medium format camera, and natural light. She does all black and white darkroom work, creating individual, fine art silver gelatin prints. Her work is in museum and private collections and has been exhibited in the United States and Europe.

The exhibit “Paris Métro Saint-Sulpice, Fragments d’Affiches Anciennes” at the Alliance Française SF is a departure from the way Evvy usually works. She took these color photographs during a visit to Paris when she observed workmen stripping advertising posters from the walls of the Saint-Sulpice métro station prior to a major renovation.

As fragments of each layer were revealed, designs, abstractions and surreal collage-like compositions emerged. Photographing just steps ahead of the workers, Evvy recorded these images as they were uncovered and evolved.

The images she recorded existed only at the moment she photographed them. Within hours, the platform was stripped bare and what was briefly visible was gone forever. Posters are routinely removed from metro walls. However, research, determined that the fragments of the posters revealed in Evvy’s photos date back to the mid-20th century. Recognizing the significance of these unique images, the RATP* purchased a set of prints for their permanent collection.

The photographs were exhibited in Paris at the City Hall of the 6thArrondisement and at the headquarters of the RATP in 2013-4. The San Francisco exhibit is presented with the cooperation of the RATP.

* Régie Autonome des Transports Parisiens agency responsible for all public transport in Paris, including the Métro, tram and bus services.

Selected images from these projects may be viewed at evvyeisen.com

Opening of the exhibition will take place on July 11, 2019 (6pm-9pm)

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