I first met Jean Dieuzaide in 1955, when he was presented with the Prix Nièpce. We met again in 1958 at the Lurs Graphics Convention in 1958, and very quickly sealed a lasting friendship.
Jean was a “craftsman” artist and he covered almost all the photographic disciplines with passion and a quasi-religious commitment: tourism illustration, architecture, reporting, industry, portraiture etc. Jean covered everything.
I think especially of his extraordinary photographs of Romanesque Art of the sun, on assignments in Portugal, and Spain, of the mysterious photographs from the series about pitch or rosin, that I think had moved him deeply, or even of a series of which he was very fond on objects worn by time, Les vieux serviteurs.
Photography was the centre of his life, and he was committed, outside his own professional activities, in many fields: among others, the creation of the Galerie du Château d’Eau in Toulouse, one of the first institutions to present exhibitions of the world’s greatest photographers with a special quality and diligence; his presence from the beginning at the Rencontres de la Photographie d’Arles up to the end of his life; his commitment to the problem of the teaching of photography in France, where again his energy and time were limitless, bringing together academics and professionals to get things moving and to push them along. To say nothing of his participation in many training programmes, or his availability to young people, his willingness to listen and his gentleness.
For me Jean was like a brother, and I am especially grateful to him for having understood my progress, for his having encouraged it at a time of great loneliness. Toulouse was for me a stopping-off point where I found great comfort with Jacqueline and Jean.
His collection of work, immense, is unquestionably inscribed as among the most important in the history of French photography and those who go to see his exhibition in the Musée de Gajac in Villeneuve-sur-Lot will have the chance to discover a beautiful selection of which many are large format.
Denis Brihat is a French photographer, born in 1928 in Paris and went to the school of photography in the Rue de Vaugirard, in the same city.
Jean Dieuzaide, La photographie comme sacerdoce
From 25th April to 18th June 2017
Musée de Gajac
2 rue des Jardins