Peter Fetterman Gallery : Sabine Weiss

Sabine Weiss (July 23, 1924 – December 28, 2021) is widely recognized as a member of France’s famous humanist school. At the first show on the west coast, The Peter Fetterman Gallery shares the powerful work of this incredible female artist who passed away in December 2021.

Sabine Weiss was born in Switzerland in 1924. In 1942, she wondered what to do with her life and decided to pursue a career in what she loves: photography. Weiss’s mother exhibited her art collections and Roman churches at a very young age, and her father, a scholar and chemist, loved to see her print her pictures using the resources available at the time. From 1942 to 1945 she apprenticed at Boissonnas in Geneva, the house of a family of photographers celebrating its 80th anniversary.

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In 1945, Sabine Weiss moved to a studio in Geneva, but in 1946 she decided to leave the city of her childhood to live in Paris. She knew there was no turning back. There she asked Willy Maywald to become his assistant, and in 1949 she met the American painter Hugh Weiss and immediately realized that she would spend her life with him. Sabine Weiss began to truly master her craft and began her long career, experimenting with fashion, photojournalism, advertising and everything in between.

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In her spare time she enjoyed immortalizing the depths of man in all its simplicity. Her photographs moved Edward Steichen when he was preparing his major exhibition “The Family of Man” and he decided to present three of her pictures. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, Newsweek, LIFE, Vogue, Elle and received commissions from major organizations, notably NATO. Although she contributed to many publications, Weiss’s street photography was never staged. “All the photos I take are completely in the moment,” she says. “What I like is making an instant image. Even though there are no people, I like click, click, click. I never wait.”

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In recent years, Sabine Weiss dedicated her time to exhibitions that showcased the humanistic side of her work, believing it to be the most important aspect of her work. Weiss was the last living member of the French humanist photography movement, she died in December 2021 at the age of 97 at her residence in Paris.

You can buy an exhibition catalog in the gallery. ($45.00)

Sabine Weiss
Until December 31St2022
The Peter Fetterman Gallery
2525 Michigan Ave, #A1
Santa Monica, CA 90404


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