François Kollar. A Working Eye
Catalogue of the exhibition

François Kollar (1904–1979) worked in the railway industry of his native Hungary and was later employed as a lathe hand at the Renault factories in Billancourt, France. He became a professional photographer in Paris at the age of 24.

Soon recognised for his sense of form and technical accomplishment, he was commissioned in 1931 to take the photographs for La France travail, in what was the most significant assignment carried out in France during this period. It established him as one of the leading industrial reporters of the day.
In addition to the immense archive generated by this project, this catalogue contains unpublished material galore, most of which was donated by the Kollar family to the French state in 1987. It includes images from the photographer’s later assignments in the 1950s and 1960s, both in France and abroad. The work here reveals the diversity of Kollar’s documentary output and the distinctive combination of sensitivity and detachment with which he approached bodies, spaces, tools and materials. Although a “worker” serving his clients, the photographer always maintained a strong sense of identity, offering a singular vision of the world around him.

Published by Jeu de Paume and Editions de la Martinière.
Texts by Pascal Blanchard, Jean-François Chevrier, Matthieu Rivallin and Pia Viewing.
Bilingual French-English.
192 pages, 150 pictures, 35 euros.

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