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André Steiner, Arabesque aérienne
vers 1935
© Martine Husson
Photo © Centre Pompidou, MNAM-CCI, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / Georges Meguerditchian

André Steiner. The Body: From Desire to Transcendence

From May 16 to September 22, 2024

As part of the Cultural Olympiad, the mahJ is devoting an exhibition to the Hungarian photographer André Steiner, a pioneer of the "New Vision", who expressed his talent by capturing athletic bodies in motion in Paris in the 1930s.

André Steiner came to photography out of passion for his young fiancée and for the sport he loved, and expressed his talent by capturing nude bodies in motion in Paris between the wars.

Born in Hungary in 1901, he was one of the very first users of a Leica in 1924, which he had been given as part of his scientific training at the prestigious Technische Universität in Vienna. He produced a series of nudes of Léa Sasson, known as Lily, his future wife. In 1928, he left Vienna for Paris because of the rise of anti-Semitism in Austria.

Leaving behind his work as a sound engineer, André Steiner chose to devote himself entirely to photography, exploring its possibilities extensively. He opened a studio and worked extensively with the press. His modern experimentation with the medium made him one of the proponents of the German "New Vision" aesthetic, which he helped to spread in France.

A decathlon champion at the World University Games (Universiades) in 1928 and a swimming coach in Vienna at the Jewish sports club Hakoah ("Strength" in Hebrew), André Steiner devoted himself in Paris to sports photography, which was still little explored. He became a specialist in the body in movement and the nude. A supporter of the communist ideal - in 1919 he took part in the short-lived Republic of Councils in Hungary - he saw the photographed body as both an individual and a social manifesto. In the 1930s, this moral conception of the body was shared by VU, for which André Steiner took photographs of sport and dance, helping to forge the magazine's distinctive style.

In 1939, the photographer enlisted in the French air force. Demobilised in 1940, threatened as a Jew and a foreigner, he left Paris for the South of France, before joining the Resistance. After the war, André Steiner obtained French nationality. Back in Paris, he specialised in photography applied to technology and science. He died in Paris in 1978.

Curaotors: François Cheval, avec Nicolas Feuillie

Presented as part of the Cultural Olympiad, this exhibition is made possible by exceptional loans from the Nicéphore Niépce Museum in Chalon-sur-Saône and the Musée national d'art moderne - Centre Pompidou.


Commissaire : François Cheval avec Nicolas Feuillie (mahJ)

Olympiade culturelle

Cette exposition bénéficie d’un prêt exceptionnel du Centre Pompidou et du musée Nicéphore Niépce

Centre Pompidou logo
Logo musée Nicéphore Niépce

En partenariat avec Les Douches la Galerie et le Centre culturel hongrois

Centre culturel hongrois




Auditorium foyer

Rates and reservation

Full price: €10
Reduced rate: €7 (18-25 year olds who are not EU residents, large families) 
Free for Friends of the mahJ, under-18s and 18-25 year-old EU residents. See other free admission

Free admission for all on the first Saturday of the month, from October to June.


Advance booking is strongly recommended, including for free tickets.

> Online ticketing*
> At the ticket office during museum opening hours
> By telephone* on 01 53 01 86 57 (Monday and Wednesday from 10.30am to 1pm)
* Secure payment by credit card, with a €0.50 surcharge per ticket.

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