Jean-Francoise Chavanne - Clair-Obscur

Jean-Francoise Chavanne - Clair-Obscur
Digital print - Not signed - Edition out of 222 by Hoe & Valluet - 2008

Clair-Obscur (Chiaroscuro), which was produced in a limited edition of 222 copies, is the fruit of a daring commission by Galerie Schoffel-Valluet for the work of Jean-Francois Chavanne—daring because the photographer is much better known for his portraits, landscapes, and still lifes. Produced on the occasion of the 2008 Par-cours des Mondes, the book features fifty-six photographs of tribal art works, lit with soft but precise light that emphasizes relief lines while preserving each object's mysterious aura. This homogeneous treatment results in a strong unity of presentation despite the diversity of objects. And the pieces certainly are diverse, ranging from a Dan mask to a pair of Mangbetu knives collected by Lieutenant Demuenynck in the Belgian Congo in the first years of the nineteenth century, by way of a Sepik necklace, a creamily transparent Mexican twelfth- to thirteenth-century onyx urn, and a tenth-century Bamana statue of a pregnant woman. The emotion these works evoke relates them to one another, just as much as the background they are shown against or the subtlety of the desaturated color palette. Although entirely removed from their context, the works nonetheless retain their intrinsic power. The photographer has captured the essence of these ritual pieces, and has done so with a view of them that is simultaneously poetic and contemporary. The result is akin to an intimate dialogue with the artworks.

Lot details
Jean-Francoise Chavanne
Title of artwork
Digital print
Edition out of 222 by Hoe & Valluet
Not signed
Date of print
Extremely fine
Image size
29,7×21 cm
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