Edition 2019



A Belgian art critic, collector and gallery owner, Paul-Gustave Van Hecke never ceased to promote Belgian and international avantgarde art during the interwar period. In 1927, he founded the gallery L’Époque in Bruxelles. In 1928, he launched Variétés, Revue mensuelle illustrée de l’esprit contemporain. A complete anthology of modernist photography, it featured Man Ray, Germaine Krull, Berenice Abbott, László Moholy-Nagy, Florence Henri… This collection then embarked on an unusual journey: mixed with the photographic archives of a newspaper that went bankrupt in 1978, it was then transferred to the Amsab archives (an institute of social history which collects the historical heritage of social movements in Belgium). It was, miraculously, never destroyed. This unique collection was rediscovered by accident a few years ago and is now the focus of an exceptional historical exhibition, that the Rencontres d’Arles are happy to co-produce with the Amsab and Tijdsbeeld & Pièce Montée for the 50th edition. This exhibition is a true visual odyssey, displaying some issues of Variétés and close to 200 vintage prints. What better way to celebrate our 50-year anniversary than by treating ourselves—you included!—with an unprecedented perspective on avant-garde photography.

Exhibition curator: Sam Stourdzé, in collaboration with Ronny Gobyn et Damarice Amao.
Exhibition coproduced by Amsab – Institut of Social History, Ghent, and Tijdsbeeld & Pièce Montée, Ghent, and the Rencontres d’Arles.
Publication: Variétés et l’Esprit Contemporain, Damarice Amao, Xavier Canonne, Hendrik Ollivier and Kim Robensyn, editing by Sam Stourdzé, Actes Sud/Tijdsbeeld & Pièce Montée Éditions, 2019.
Wallpapers by Processus, Paris.
Framing by Circad, Paris.

  • Institutional partners

    • République Française
    • Région Provence Alpes Côté d'Azur
    • Département des Bouches du Rhône
    • Arles
    • Le Centre des monuments nationaux est heureux de soutenir les Rencontres de la Photographie d’Arles en accueillant des expositions dans l’abbaye de Montmajour
  • Main partners

    • Fondation LUMA
    • BMW
    • SNCF
    • Kering
  • Media partners

    • Arte
    • Lci
    • Konbini
    • Le Point
    • Madame Figaro
    • France Culture