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Best of December 2019 : Jean-Claude Gautrand – The garden of my father


At eighty-six, Jean-Claude Gautrand, a talented photographer and major author, will remain the witness of a generation that has been campaigning for the recognition of photography. An indefatigable group leader, exhibition organizer, author of some thirty works on photographers: Brassaï, Doisneau, Ronis, Roger Pic or the history of this art: Bayard, Blanquart – Evrard, he was above all a photographer who, from the outset and his encounter with the “Subjektive Fotografie” of Otto Steinert, has developed with images a true poetry, where graphics, material and lights are the essential components of this formal precision that structures all his work.

His series of photographs, a set of images on the same subject, create a kind of poem or discourse in which the motif expresses itself in all its fullness and complexity. An original approach for the time he used it for his first major series “Metalopolis”. These photographs mainly illustrate an inner approach based on the problem of time, memory, and disappearance. An unambiguous speech based on images with subtle prints he realized himself.

Parallel to these thematic series, Paris, where he never stopped wandering during this half-century is a constant of his photographic approach. In simple and direct images, it’s a whole bunch of moments, encounters, new or dying decors that he picks up on the asphalt. These “Parisian Walks” combine the past and the present in this little theater of the street that offers us many moments of emotions or surprises.

During all these years, Jean-Claude Gautrand remained faithful to black and white films; he affirmed that black and white is infinitely more rich, that it keeps a part of mystery which is gradually revealed.

And yet, in his latest book The Garden of My Father, JC Gautrand offers us his first color images accompanied by quotes. He who dreamed of being a painter and had attended some  classes at the Ecole du Louvre, reveals in this book as a gallery of paintings, an intimate book full of emotions where the photographer joins the time that passes and subtly uses the light to work as a painter.

For here again, time is at work and these still lifes resemble these vanities, paintings of another century. Composition and … decomposition.

Just the time passing and the delicate and emotional look of a great photographer.



Jean-Claude Gautrand : Le jardin de mon père

from December 4, 2019 to Jan 11, 2020

Opening on December 3rd from 6pm to 9pm

Argentic Gallery

43 rue Daubenton

75005 – PARIS



Jean-Claude Gautrand : Le jardin de mon père

Introduction by Jean-Claude Gautrand

62 black and white and color photographs.

85 pages

Format 13 X 19 mn

Film-coated soft cover

Printing Proscan, Marseille

Published in April 2019

Price: 13 €


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