press release

By Edward Quinn

My beginnings in photo-journalism go back to 1948. I had been toying around with a folding Kodak camera, bought a couple of years before to take some souvenir photos on my flying trips while working as a Radio-Navigator for a charter air company. I was based for a while in the then international North African city of Tangier in the northwestern comer of Morocco. The pictures I took there were very insignificant.

I moved away from aviation and went to live for a while in Monaco. As it was then still a very picturesque little place, I tried to capture this with my simple camera. The photos showed a little something, but were not too inspired. A friend loaned me a better, more expensive camera with a sharper lens. Some portraits taken with this were admired and I found myself that they were quite encouraging.

This spurt me on, so I plunged into getting hold of a Retina camera which I had heard was of professional standard. As I thought then, and still do, that the best proof of one’s skill and success is to be able to sell pictures, I nosed around for something newsworthy to try my hand on.

I heard of a horse jumping contest being held in nearby Nice and decided to try my luck there. I managed to get in as I spoke English and this helped me to pass myself off as a fully fledged professional press photographer. At the show I positioned myself beside the hardened professionals who were covering the contest and began to shoot, trying to catch the most spectacular moment as the rider edged his horse over the very difficult obstacles. I of course concentrated on trying to get good pictures of the Irish and English competitors. Riding for the Irish team was Capt. Turbridy, an excellent horseman who had a terrific horse. lt was not too difficult for me to get some good shots of Capt. Turbridy and his horse and it seemed to me a very good omen that on my first professional outing the Irish won.

The pictures were published in the IRISH INDEPENDENT and at that moment I began to take my work as a photographer seriously. I bought some books about photography. Over in Nice I was able to get POPULAR PHOTOGRAPHY, MODERN PHOTOGRAPHY and CAMERA, magazines still published nowadays. I followed all the "how to do it" articles and transformed the tiny kitchen of a kindly Monegasque friend into a darkroom.

Edward Quinn

Der gebürtige Ire Edward Quinn (1920 - 1997) lebte und arbeitete seit den fünfziger Jahren an Côte d'Azur, wo sich in den "Goldenen Fünfzigern" Stars, Manager, Adel und Künstler trafen. Aus dieser Zeit stammen Quinns sensible Photos von "Celebrities" in Nizza, Cannes und Monte Carlo wie Brigitte Bardot, Sophia Loren, Marlon Brando, Somerset Maugham, Aristoteles Onassis und vielen mehr. 1951 begann seine Freundschaft mit Picasso, die bis zum Tode des Künstlers 1973 dauerte. In diesen zwanzig Jahren entstand ein umfangreiches fotografisches Werk über und mit Picasso, das in zahlreichen Ausstellungen Büchern und Filmen seinen Niederschlag fand. Angeregt durch die Beziehung mit Picasso konzentrierte sich Quinn seit den sechziger Jahren vermehrt auf die Arbeit mit bildenden Künstlern, zu denen u.a. Max Ernst, Alexander Calder, Francis Bacon, Salvador Dali oder David Hockney gehörten. Eine ähnlich intensive Beziehung wie mit Picasso verband ihn seit den späten achtziger Jahren mit Georg Baselitz. Quinn zog anfangs der neunziger Jahre an den Zürichsee und lebte hier bis zu seinem Tode 1997 mit seiner Schweizer Frau Gret, die das umfangreiche Photo-Archiv weiter betreut.

Edward Quinn, born 1920 in Ireland, lived and worked as a photographer since the 50’s on the Côte d’Azur, which was during the “golden fifties” the playground of the celebrities from the world of show biz, art and business. The rich and the famous came to the Riviera to relax. But the movie stars knew how much their off-screen image counted and Quinn was at the right place at the right time and was able to get spontaneous and enchanting images which catch the charm, sophistication and chic of a legendary era. Amongst a great number of celebrities captured on film by Quinn may be mentioned Grace Kelly, Brigitte Bardot, Marlon Brando, Sophia Loren, Aristoteles Onassis, Maria Callas, Winston Churchill, Somerset Maugham. In 1951 Edward Quinn met and photographed Pablo Picasso for the first time. Their friendship lasted until Picasso’s death in 1973. This encounter with Picasso was to be greatly influental to Quinn himself and to his subsequent work. Quinn is the author of several books and films about Picasso. Since the 60s Quinn concentrated his work on artists, amongst them Max Ernst, Alexander Calder, Francis Bacon, Salvador Dali, Graham Sutherland, David Hockney. In the late 80’s an intense relationship, similar to his friendship with Picasso, linked Quinn to Georg Baselitz. Since 1992 until his death in 1997, Edward Quinn lived near Zurich with his Swiss wife Gret who is continuing to take care of the extensive photo archive.

Ausstellung / Exhibitions: Städtische Galerie Karlsruhe 1993: Georg Baselitz. Schöne und hässliche Porträts. (Group Exhibition). Museum für Gestaltung, Zürich 1994: Edward Quinn. A Côte d’Azur Album. Prinz Max Palais, Karlsruhe 1994: Edward Quinn. Picasso live. Sotheby’s Zürich 1994-1995: Edward Quinn Photographs. Quadrat Studio-Galerie, Bottrop 1995: Edward Quinn. Picasso live. Museum der bildenden Künste, Leipzig 1996: Edward Quinn: Picasso. NAC Galerie, Baden, Switzerland: Georg Baselitz, Fotografien von Edward Quinn. Scalo, Zürich 1996: Edward Quinn. Stars der fünfziger und sechziger Jahre. Conolly, London 1996: Edward Quinn. Stars, Stars, Stars. Prinz Max Palais, Karlsruhe 1996: Edward Quinn. Gesamtwerk. Josef Albers Museum, Bottrop 1997: Edward Quinn: Stars und Sternchen. Galerie Stephan Röpke, Köln 1997: Künstlerporträts. Musée d’Art Moderne et Contemporain, Nice 1997: Edward Quinn. La Côte d’Azur des Stars. Conolly Ltd., London 1997: Perpetual Emotion: An Affair with the Car in Pictures. (Group Exhibition). Bahnhof Rolandseck, Rolandseck 1998: Edward Quinn, Künstlerphotograph. Scalo Gallery, New York 1998: Edward Quinn. The Charm of Portraits. Celebrities and Artists PaceWildensteinMacGill. Beverly Hills, California 1998: Hollywood Personalities 1951-1965. Prinz Max Palais, Karlsruhe 1998: Edward Quinn. Stars und Sternchen. Musée National Picasso de Vallauris 1998: La Guerre et la Paix. (Group Exhibition). Staatliches Museum Schwerin 1999: Pablo Picasso – Der Reiz der Fläche. (Group Exhibition). Festival de Télévision de Monte Carlo, Monaco 2000: Edward Quinn. Stars, Stars, Stars.

Edward Quinn: The Rich and the Famous
Vintages and later prints