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In memoriam : Olivier Dassault (1951-2021)


It was in 1975 that I met Olivier Dassault for the first time.

It was at PHOTO where he came to show his first portfolio: Fugues. Rarely have I met someone so possessed by photography. It was his absolute passion, every 2 years he came back to show us his new images. In 1981, he made a triumph with the nudes of his former companion : Anne Parillaud. We also published him regularly in the Eye of Photography. I found one of his first interviews in PHOTO where he talks about his beginnings. I saw him for the last time in Arles, 2 years ago. We talked about our memories of PHOTO and we burst out laughing at our physical changes.

His beginnings: “I came to photography through black and white. I was thirteen. I photographed my little sister’s eyes, I found them so beautiful! I made the prints myself and distributed them to my family. I used my father’s camera. Then I broke it. To buy myself another one, I photographed my girlfriends, and I sold the prints to their parents. I always considered that any activity “apart” should be self-financing! ”

His last exhibition, Perspectives, was at Galerie W in 2020.

Jean-Jacques Naudet


Following the success of his first RéFlexions exhibition in 2019, Olivier Dassault is once again taking over the Galerie W space at 5 rue du Grenier Saint-Lazare. The Perspectives exhibition highlights a selection of 22 photographs and installations, as well as furniture and lithographs for the first time.

The Artist

Art photographer, Olivier Dassault creates, often with multi exposures, unique visual compositions, where light and matter compete for the soul and poetry of the world. At work for more than forty years, he works, as an art craftsman and with the support of his dedicated team, to develop his visions in his Parisian workshop: the format and the process of revealing the image will depend on the emotion it arouses, to deliver all its strength and vitality.

His Purpose

“I worked to hunt through the lens for evidence to detect the hidden, the undisclosed. To cross the threshold of the visible, it was necessary to cancel time and reality to reinvent them, and find paths, vanishing lines, Perspectives up to the original form which was there, on a reflection of steel, the corner of a door … The light that lands on an object, as trivial as it is, becomes a guide.

When an image imposes itself, I try to make it live, I look for the pattern that responds to the sensation. Any click requires observation and reflection but I remain in the improvisation, without staging beforehand. »O.D.

The Exhibition

In this exhibition the spectator will be able to feel the new way of looking of the artist on the world following the confinement and the health crisis, with a will to stop time, co-construction and union … ” To share a work, offer a dialogue of emotions and feelings that brings us all together, around the essential and what makes us grow: it is to feel life itself, its vibration, the ineffable … The photographs exhibited at Galerie W conceal all this movement towards hidden beauty, towards the unknown. I invite the spectators to come and discover them. And thus to dialogue on the values ​​that would take precedence in art, on our own values ​​… on the world of tomorrow? »O.D.

The Commitment

Decided to commit himself to the association Solidarité avec les Soignants (whose challenge is to make up for the lack of equipment for medical staff) and beyond the financial support given during the worst of the epidemic, Olivier Dassault spontaneously offered a work. Momentum, joined by Galerie W with Eric Landau, who acquired works from his artists to offer them for auction from June 1st to 8th on Drouot Digital. Finally, we would like to thank the company Chargeurs for its commitment with us, in the production of masks inspired by the works that will be sold for the benefit of the association.

Art seems to me today even more a means, if not the means to reconsider our world, to reflect on its essence, to experience the deep truth that will have escaped us. And do it together. O.D.


Olivier Dassault : Perspectives

Until September 27, 2020

Galerie W

5 rue du Grenier Saint-Lazare Paris 3


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