Sabine Weiss


In her moments of freedom Sabine Weiss likes to grab in all simplicity the depths of humanity and fix it for eternity in her works. Her particular approach, between realism and poetry, is all at the service of the viewer, while at the same time exalting, through catching the instant, the lively forces of light and composition. Since the beginning, Sabine Weiss has continued to develop a work that is both essential and original in the tradition of the great French humanist photographers such as Doisneau, Boubat or Ronis. In recent years, she has devoted herself to exhibits and highlights all her so-called humanist work that particularly touches her.


Sabine Weiss was born in Switzerland in 1924. In 1942, she wonders what she will do with her life, and decides that she should become a photographer because it is what she loves to do. She is the daughter of a mother who showed her art galleries and Roman churches at a very young age, and of a researcher chemist father who loved to see her print her little photos with the resources available at the time.
From 1942 until 1945 she was an apprentice at Boissonnas in Geneva, house of a dynasty of photographers that celebrated its 80th birthday.
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. She asked Willy Maywald to become her assistant. In 1949, she met the painter Hugh Weiss and realized right away that she would spend her life with him. Sabine Weiss left Maywald, where she mastered her craft and started a long career, experimenting fashion, photojournalism, advertising and everything else she was asked to do.
During her free time, she liked to immortalize the depths of man in all simplicity. Her photographs moved Edward Steichen when preparing his major exhibition “The Family of Man” therefore he decided to present three of her images.
In recent years, Sabine Weiss has dedicated her time to exhibitions that showcase the humanist side of her work because it meant a lot to her.