Working with an artist on a new exhibition is a joy. It is a different joy but just as intense to browse the shelves of the gallery, opening boxes in search of nuggets, discovering unexpected marriages. For this September start, forced to postpone the exhibition of Korean artist Bohnchang Koo, we took his work as a starting point to bring together, by affinities, works on the theme of SHAPE. This exhibition offers us the opportunity to compare classics from our collection (Harry Callahan, Yasuhiro Ishimoto, Bill Brandt) with works by photographers regularly exhibited at the gallery (Eric Dessert, Lucien Hervé, Michael Kenna, Bohnchang Koo, Jungjin Lee , Sarah Moon, Christopher Taylor), by following this thread of the pleasure of the eye, of formal balance, offered by these works, which are most often based on profound simplicity.
If the form sometimes has a bad press (empty or cold depending on whether one finds it devoid of depth or sensitivity), it is nevertheless obvious that it is a major basis of creation in photography and that the research that we can qualify as formalists punctuate its history and offer us a number of masterpieces. Some artists make it the center of their thinking. This is the case for Bohnchang Koo, of which we present some images of “Soap”, a serial variation on a subject as trivial as used soaps, which become real gems under his gaze.
For others, it is a stylistic characteristic, a primary component of their vision: thus Michael Kenna and his quest for the sublimely uncluttered landscape. But, between a subject of reflection and an intrinsic component of a style, the form motivates or underlies many works and lends itself magnificently to the game of connections that we are attempting with this exhibition: the full and the empty of an architecture by Hervé echoing an abstract desert by Jungjin Lee, a nude by Bill Brandt facing a snowy landscape by Michael Kenna… each of these images retains strength and individuality, but their confrontation enriches them with unexpected harmonics.
Form: Collective Exhibition
September 3 – October 24, 2020
Camera Obscura Gallery
268, boulevard Raspail