This retrospective exhibition follows the development of Chim’s career as an intellectually engaged photojournalist, placing his life and work in the broader context of 1930s–50s photography and European politics. Born Dawid Szymin in 1911 in Warsaw, Chim, who after World War II published under the name David Seymour, began his career in 1933 photographing regularly for leftist magazines in Paris, even before his close friends and collaborators Robert Capa and Henri Cartier-Bresson.
In 1947, he founded the collective Magnum Photos with Capa, Cartier-Bresson, and George Rodger. His most celebrated reportages include the rise of the Popular Front in prewar France; the Spanish Civil War, which he covered alongside Capa and Gerda Taro; the postwar reconstruction of Europe; and the birth of Israel. In each of his images, he combined rare intellectual acumen and emotional intelligence. This exhibition is a long overdue reevaluation of Chim’s career, made possible by new scholarship on recently discovered negatives from the so-called Mexican Suitcase and newly catalogued vintage prints.
(Photo: CHIM, Picasso voor zijn schilderij Guernica, Parijs, 1937, Chim (David Seymour), Magnum Photos Courtesy Chim Estate)