Julia Pirotte – Faces
In June, the Hartwig Alley in Lublin will feature the exhibition “Julia Pirotte – Faces”.
The prints on display include extraordinary portraits of the people the photographer met. Pirotte captured not only their faces but also their gestures. She was interested in people performing actions. Whether it was occupied France or Poland in the process of post-war reconstruction, Pirotte captured the everyday lives of simple people with great passion and intuition. Her art finds its fullest expression in portraits, which prominently feature her subjects’ faces and hands. Some of her most captivating pieces are portraits of older women and children, or celebrities such as Julian Tuwim, Pablo Picasso, Edith Piaf, Paul Eluard or the photographer’s sister, Mindla
Julia Pirotte was born in Końskowola in the Lublin region into a family of poor Polish Jews. From an early age, she and her siblings were involved in communist activities. During the Second World War, she was part of the resistance in the south of France. After returning to Poland, she was the only photographer to document the Kielce Pogrom in 1946. The surviving beautiful photos she took in 1948 during the World Congress of Intellectuals in Wrocław can still be enjoyed today. Julia’s life was fraught with tragedies. During the war, she lost her Belgian husband, whose last name she kept. Her parents shared the tragic fate of other Lublin Jews and were murdered by Nazis. The Gestapo murdered her sister, who was part of the French resistance. Her brother never returned from a labour camp in the USSR.
A year before her death, Julia had donated a part of her archival collection to the Jewish Historical Institute. It consists primarily of a few hundred pictures of her authorship. Most photographs come from the forties and fifties. Only some of them were taken later. Julia Pirotte’s photos were shown in Belgium, France and the United States, and in the 1980s also in Poland.
When: 1-23 June, outdoor exhibition available at all times.
Where: The Hartwig Alley, Kowalska 3