Until November 20, the Galerie Clémentine de la Féronnière presents In Black & White: Martin Parr & Tony Ray-Jones, an exhibition dedicated to two emblematic figures of British photography. On the fringes of art and photojournalism, their black and white works greatly contributed to the development of photography in Britain from the late 1960s to the early 1980s.
The match between the gaze of Tony Ray-Jones and that of Martin Parr is striking, and it is no accident: although they never met, the discovery of Ray-Jones’ work in 1971 was for It was one of the defining moments in his own career. While a first year photography student at Manchester Polytechnic, he admired the talent of Ray-Jones who constructs intricate scenes in a distinctly British setting. In 1975 Parr moved to Hebden Bridge, north-east of Manchester, where he documented the lives of the inhabitants of this small industrial town in Yorkshire for five years. Now mainly known for his vibrant work in color, Martin Parr then began his first body of work in black and white, through which a structured and casual gaze was already expressed.
Conversely, after photographing the United States in color, Tony Ray-Jones returned to black and white when he returned to England in 1966. Compared to Madison Avenue, everything is so gray, he said in an interview. Inspired by the dynamism of the photographers he met in New York, he roams the small towns and villages of Great Britain, with a particular interest in the coast and its seaside resorts. Focusing his gaze on the customs, habits and hobbies peculiar to the English, he travels through funfairs, beauty pageants, beaches, in search of places where ordinary rituals take place. His subjects and their interactions are superimposed in eccentric but sophisticated compositions, and his images are punctuated with a malice that will be found in Martin Parr.
In Black & White: Martin Parr & Tony Ray-Jones
Until November 20
Galerie Clémentine de la Féronnière
[second courtyard] 51, rue saint-Louis-en-île – Paris 4