”Clergue is doubtless the only witness to the birth of Aphrodite; this really ought to be said.” –Jean Cocteau
EXTREMELY RARE HANDMADE ALBUM, COMPLETE WITH 10 GELATIN SILVER PRINTS. SIGNED AND NUMBERED IN COLORED PENCIL, 105 OF 150 COPIES.
“French photographer Lucien Clergue’s candid portraits of famous friends, fellow artists, and patrons—Pablo Picasso, Jean Cocteau, and Saint-John Perse among them—are widely celebrated as intimate studies of the daily life of an artist. However, Clergue is perhaps most remembered and respected for his black-and-white studies of light, shadow, and form, featuring sinuous female bodies, dynamic sand dunes, and seascapes extracted from the coast of the Camargue…
“Clergue became the first photographer to be elected to the Académie des Beaux Arts in Paris and was a lifelong proponent of photography as an art form in its own right, on par with painting and other fine arts. Photography was a relatively new medium when Clergue began experimenting with it beyond his previous, more documentary work. Many early photographers spoke in a visual idiom similar to those of painting, drawing, and sculpture, staging their scenes and posing their subjects. Clergue was one of the first to move beyond attempts to adopt the conceits of other art forms, electing instead to manipulate perspective and proportion, as well as light and shadow, to produce entirely novel imagery that possesses many of the qualities of other forms of expression, such as painting, sculpture, and collage, while transcending the limitations of each of these…
“Always shot in broad daylight, but predominantly in black and white, Clergue’s silver gelatin prints of nudes—which were published in poetry volumes by the likes of Paul Éluard and Saint-John Perse—encapsulate his unique use of light and shadow on organic forms. Clergue’s nudes read like landscapes, seamlessly melding the human figure with topographies from the natural world in such a way that they appear at once amorphous and alloyed. Rarely featuring faces and primarily focused on the female torso, draped in sheer swaths of cloth or emerging from a shroud of sea foam, Clergue’s bodies become a kind of provisional architecture that mirrors and melds with the natural world.” (Grace-Yvette Gemmell, “The Lasting Works of Photography Pioneer and Proponent Lucien Clergue”).
With title in purple crayon on cover and across the first page spread; limitation written in blue and Clergue’s signature written in yellow on second spread. Each photograph is mounted on the top of the page. Complete with tissue guards. Each oblong spread is unbound (as issued).
Album approximately 6.5x10 inches, the size of the photographs vary, often 5x7 or 4x6 inches. Np, c.1960. Original stiff paper wrappers, original glassine. Housed in a beautiful custom box by celebrated book artist Sjoerd Hofstra. A fine copy.
A WONDERFUL, RARE, HANDMADE ALBUM SHOWCASING SOME OF CLERGUE’S CLASSIC IMAGES.
Price: $9,500 .