Search for content, post, videos

Bigaignon : Yannig Hedel : At First Glance


Amen, Hedel

Open the black doors, and a spiritual and transcendent experience awaits you at 18 rue du Bourg Tibourg, in the Marais in Paris. We are at Bigaignon, a gallery dedicated to photography, and more broadly to contemporary photosensitive art, which presents from January 25 to March 9, the first works of Yannig Hedel, icon of film photography.

White frames on white walls, around twenty vintage prints adorn the immaculate walls of the gallery; a sort of ultra-contemporary nave, overlooked by a glass roof which diffuses soft light over this graphic ensemble. At the back of the main room, Tadao Ando style, a composition by the artist of thirteen prints forms a large cross. On each of them, same framing, same wall, only the progression of the light differs and testifies to the progress of the day. “De labor solis”, of the work of the sun.

This is what this retrospective is about, light, Man, time passing and slipping through the fingers. “At First Glance”, the name given to this exhibition which reveals the beginnings of the artist’s work, from 1976 to 1986, these first photos, ten years in search of his style, which gradually refines and asserts itself . “At first glance” also, perhaps, for those who, at first glance, do not perceive the beauty and poetry that these trivial objects can reveal; this section of wall, these electric wires, this piece of fence. As Susan Sontag writes, “the photographer’s acuity aims to find beauty where others see ugliness, or things of no interest or importance.” Here it is done. We are carried and moved by this look which manages to elevate these pieces of the world, raw and ephemeral, to the rank of icons.

Because to his sharp eye is added a great mastery of the photographic medium and composition. Very subtly, he plays with grays and grains on the material and in doing so, plays on us to confuse us between the different elements; is it a building, a sky? Although the contrasts here are very subtle, we still manage to distinguish the elements between them, thanks to an edge of light, a projected shadow, the trace of a cloud which guides us. Soon, the photographer will no longer be so lenient, and the border between realism and abstraction will become more defined. Its titles, which are worth paying attention to, fully participate in this game. Five holes on a bare facade become “Grande Ourse”. A cloud overhanging a ruined wall, “Nez à nez”. A simple bare facade, “mur rose”. A minimalist relationship with things, an inexhaustible source of inspiration which allows him to compose disconcerting ensembles of power and delicacy. His unchanging obsession for 40 years.

By choosing to show the genesis of Yannig Hedel’s work, the Thierry Bigaignon gallery invites us on a spiritual journey, a necessary return to the essence of things, where we take the time to stop to look back, and question the way we, Humans, observe and inhabit the world.

Marine Aubenas


Yannig Hedel : At First Glance
25 janvier – 9 mars 2024
18 rue du Bourg-Tibourg
Paris 75004 · France

Create an account or log in to read more and see all pictures.

Install WebApp on iPhone
Install WebApp on Android