Jean Dieuzaide



Jean Dieuzaide (1921-2003), French photographer. Much of his work was signed ‘Yan’—his Resistance nickname from the Second World War—because he felt that photography might not be a respectable occupation. One of the few photographers to document the liberation of Toulouse in 1944, Dieuzaide soon became a professional photo-reporter, initially specializing in sports, then covering all the actualité. But he was also a faithful recorder of his native south-western France, where his first book on Gascony was published in 1946, as well as its adjoining regions, especially Catalonia, Spain, and Portugal. His pictures of French and Spanish gitans are romantic evocations of their life and evidence of the admiration in which they were held following the war.

Dieuzaide's work veers between a classic French humanism and a more formal style of highly graphic imagery, particularly in his architectural work and studies of natural forms in the landscape, or in his astonishing book on the sometimes quasi-erotic shapes created by cooling tar. A rigorous craftsman, his pictures are marked by the care and finesse with which they are composed and printed. So alarmed was he by the apparent demise of fibre-based printing paper in the late 1970s that he mounted a successful international campaign to persuade the manufacturers not to drop it in favour of resin-coated materials.

In 1974 he founded the gallery of the Château d'Eau in Toulouse, which rapidly became the chief photography space outside Paris, attracting work by leading photographers throughout the world. Dieuzaide was awarded the Prix Nadar (1961) and the Prix Niépce (1995).

Jean Dieuzaide
Title: Dali dans l'eau, Port Lligat 1953
Dimensions: 30x40