Then Cologne-based gallery Rudolf Kicken - today in Berlin - has been published many catalogs and compendiums about Modern Photography in Germany, Europe and the United States. In 1980 they published this catalog, their fourth - companying their exhibition about the French photographer Eugène ATGET.
When Eugène ATGET, on the threshold of the 20th century, wandered through the streets and suburbs of Paris with his already obsolete, bulky and heavy plate camera to photograph small businesses, prostitutes, alleys, backyards, facades, architectural details, parks and street alleys he is aware of being an eyewitness to a vanishing world. Although his pictures served as souvenirs or templates for painters such as George Braque, André Derain or Maurice Utrillo for prosaic purposes, Eugène ATGET saw himself as an urban archaeologist who, strolling and taking photos, collects a comprehensive photographic documentation of his adopted home Paris. Eugène ATGET remained largely unknown during his lifetime, as his photography differed too much from the preferred soft-focus painterly style of his era due to its precision and documentary sharpness, but in the 1920s the avant-garde of Dadaism and Surrealism became aware of him through MAN RAY. Four of his pictures appeared in the surrealist newspaper La Révolution surréaliste. MAN RAY himself and many of his friends bought Eugène ATGET's recordings. However, the photographer only became better known posthumously thanks to several articles and a monograph by Berenice ABBOTT, which Eugène ATGET had got to know about MAN RAY shortly before his death. Some of the most famous photographers later referred to his role model, including Walker EVANS and Bill BRANDT.
The 4th catalog, published by Gallery Rudolf Kicken in 1980, shows all 56 exhibited b/w photographs by Eugène ATGET, made from 1898 until 1922. A bilingual text, written by Hans Puttnies introduces in the photographs. A biography and an appendix complete the small, now rare publication.