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Galerie XII Paris : Clark & Pougnaud : A Certain Idea of Happiness


Galerie XII Paris presents from June 9 to July 29, Une certaine idée du bonheur, the new exhibition of the artist duo Clark and Pougnaud. Some works from their iconic series will be exhibited alongside new pieces from the Fetish and A Poils series.

Since the 1990s, Clark and Pougnaud have formed a duo with a well-established modus operandi. Revealed by their project “Tribute to Hopper” which won them the HSBC prize and the Archimboldo prize, the artists merge their two techniques in a theatrical aesthetic. Virginie Pougnaud makes and paints sets, Christophe Clark photographs them. Certain elements, objects or characters are photographed separately and then added to the decor. If their images may seem like simple portraits, they are in fact strange and sophisticated stagings. Over the years, the sets have been stripped down to the essentials. With the Eden series, a season in Paradise, exhibited in particular at Chaumont-sur-Loire in 2021-2022, they started to break away from post-production techniques in favor of shooting installations. Fetish (2020-2021) inspired by heterogeneous collections of objects, pursued this research in a post-surrealist aesthetic. A Poils (2023), a variation on the theme of the skin, revives the use of models.

Clark and Pougnaud create atmospheres more than they create images. They invite us to take a dreamlike walk, to contemplate, to explore our own imagination in a society that is spinning at full speed.


About Clark and Pougnaud
Clark and Pougnaud, are a couple of French artists, painter and photographer respectively. Pougnaud, from a family of artists, has been around the art world since a very young age. Clark grew up around photography. He was his father’s assistant before opening his own studio in the 1980s. It was in the 1990s that they formed their duo: Pougnaud thinks up the staging, manufactures and paints the sets, Clark photographs them . Certain elements, objects or characters are photographed separately and then inserted into the sets. Their work bears witness to a singular transversality: painting, models and photographs. Their work is resolutely contemporary, by the technique used, the choice of characters, the flat areas of color and the keen sense of the staging. Their approach is also deeply crossed by pictorial references from the 20th century, like Edward Hopper, René Magritte and surrealism.

Clark and Pougnaud were awarded the Arcimboldo Award for digital creation in 2000, followed by an exhibition at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris, then in 2006, by the HSBC Photography Prize.


Galerie XII Paris : Clark et Pougnaud : Une certaine idée du Bonheur
from June 9 to July 29, 2023
Public opening and signing on Saturday June 10 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Galerie XII Paris
14 rue des Jardins Saint-Paul
75004 Paris

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