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Charlotte Perriand : Photographs


The Academy exhibits from February 13 to March 22 a selection of photographs of Charlotte Perriand, French architect and designer (1903-1999), as an extension of the major exhibition dedicated to her at the Louis Vuitton Foundation until February 24.

Articulated around the main themes explored photographically by the artist from 1927 to 1940, the peasant world, the natural objects qualified by her, Fernand Léger and Pierre Jeanneret of art brut, industrial constructions, the mountain, etc., this exhibition gives to see a more unknown aspect of the artist and reveals a very singular sense of composition and poetics.

It also makes it possible to question the different dimensions conferred on photography by a woman engaged in the progressive artistic and industrial project of the interwar period.

The exhibition will present 48 photographs selected from the Charlotte Perriand photographic collection, controlled by her daughter Pernette Perriand-Barsac and her son-in-law Jacques Barsac, rarely shown to the public.

When the Academy of Fine Arts offered to look at the photographs taken by Charlotte Perriand for an exhibition, I was both happy and curious to discover another facet of her artistic talent.

This exceptional woman, with her great creativity and strong personality, a woman with a character so solid that nothing scared her, has always fascinated me. Born in 1903, she lived in a world where women had little place in society, apart from often low-skilled occupations or those related to the family. Feminist, as I am, I gladly accepted to immerse myself in her archives and I was very pleasantly surprised to discover the photographic eye of “Charlotte”. His shots, perfectly composed, enlighten us on his way of seeing the world with sweetness and dazzling, his gaze posed with curiosity on the beauty of the landscapes which will sometimes be the direct source of his inspiration and his creations.

C’est en regardant attentivement ses centaines de photos que j’ai -je crois- mieux compris cette femme libre, cette pionnière de la modernité qui était aussi une admiratrice de la nature, constante gourmande d’observation. J’espère que vous saisirez aussi à travers ses photos l’artisane qui, par son regard et ses choix de prises de vues, n’a cessé de rechercher ce que les formes pouvaient lui offrir. J’ai pris le parti de ne montrer, à de rares exceptions près, que les seules images reflétant son étonnement face à la grandeur des paysages, ou à la profondeur des visages et des regards des paysans notamment.

Je souhaite remercier la fille de Charlotte, Pernette Perriand-Barsac, et Jacques Barsac, son gendre, qui m’ont ouvert leurs archives avec beaucoup de générosité pour satisfaire ma curiosité et trouver les photographies que l’Académie des beaux-arts vous permet ainsi de découvrir dans ce Pavillon Comtesse de Caen.

Lélia Wanick Salgado, Commissaire de l’exposition


Charlotte Perriand : Photographies

February 13 – March 22, 2020

Académie des beaux-arts

Pavillon Comtesse de Caen, Palais de l’Institut de France

27 quai de Conti




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