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Lucien Clergue, The First nudes


Photographed in close-up on the beaches or in the waves of  Camargue, the generously formed women’s bodies spring from the waves with joy and endless vitality, a previously unseen freshness in the photography of the female nude.

By removing the faces from the frame, Lucien Clergue gives these bodies a universal dimension.
The quest for recognition of this new art, photography, hardly a century after its invention, led many to emulate the style and subjects of drawing, and the female nude often remained an academic study. Lucien Clergue’s nudes made a clean break with the style  then current.
These nudes were an immediate success That was as much about the works, where they accompanied the poems of Paul Éluard or Saint-John Perse, as to the sexual liberation in the middle of the 20th century.
The series ‘Born from the Wave’ acquired a notoriety that went beyond amateurs of photography to become as famous as it was popular.

François Hébel and Christian Lacroix

Lucien Clergue 1934 – 2014
From November 14th, 2015 to February 25th, 2016
Le Grand Palais
avenue Winston Churchill
75008 Paris

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