Lucien Clergue 2012
Lucien Clergue - A Master's Eye
June 23 - August 4, 2012
In these photo-centric, iPad mad days of instant image and digital intervention, Lucien Clergue casts a formidable shadow. His photographs, all captured on film, include some of the most compelling images of our time.
Pablo Picasso was his first mentor. Jean Cocteau was one of his first collectors. The photography festival he created, Recontres d’Arles, was the first and remains one of the most prestigious celebrations of the photographic medium in existence. In 2003 he was named a Chevalier of the Légion d’honneur and in 2006 he became the first photographer invited to become a member of the Academy of Fine Arts of the Institute of France. The litany of the artist’s exhibitions and awards reads like a who’s who of international museum and gallery art stars.
Clergue’s ongoing exploration of the camera as a supreme translator of personal vision is revelatory whatever the subject. He has traced the life cycles of Camargue and found compositions of exquisite subtlety writ in desert sands or shimmering in the ocean waves. In his numerous mesmerizing depictions of the female form, Clergue never chases the ‘beauty’ shot. The artist’s eye perceives the suppleness of flesh as an extension of the life-changing forces of the natural world. Torsos unfurl beneath the half glare of a slatted blind. The angle of a hip redirects the current in a slow-moving pool of water. Light and shadow, life and death incarnate, exist in close proximity and in equal measure.
Widely recognized as one of the finest photographers working today, Clergue continues to create images as provocative and provocatively composed as his painterly counterparts. He remains a consummate artist, a photographer’s photographer, a dreamer with a master’s eye.