LUCIEN CLERGUE | vie et mort
May 31 - June 23, 2018
Opening Reception: Thursday, May 31st, 6 - 9 pm
Odon Wagner Contemporary is pleased to present the second retrospective of Lucien Clergue (1934-2014), the pioneering French photographer who indelibly changed the landscape of art photography. This exhibition explores the oeuvre of this internationally renowned artist, showcasing Clergue’s evolution from his earliest nudes on the beach of Camargue to the stylized abstraction of his later Nude Zebra series, alongside his intimate Centenary Portfolio detailing his friendship with Pablo Picasso. Although rooted in the stylistic doctrines of Surrealism and Modernism, Clergue’s continued experimentation sought to renew the power of photography through his thoughtful creations that captured his undying commitment to represent beauty. Progressively, Clergue would redefine the potential of this medium and what it could become by exposing its ability to exalt life. Heralded by the New York Times, his obituary read “Master and Promoter of Art Photography”, a fair assessment considering his establishment of the largest international photography festival Les Rencontres de la photographie d'Arles (founded in 1970), a wordless doctoral dissertation from the University of Provence (1979), and an Academy Award nomination for his short film Delta de Sel. Photography as an art form was uplifted and championed by Lucien Clergue, whose expressions in the medium have demanded more from the next generation behind the lens.