Vernissage de l’exposition Lines and Lineage mercredi 15 mai 2019, de 18h à 21h.
galerie baudoin lebon
8 rue Charles François-Dupuis
À propos de l’exposition
Baudoin Lebon est fier de présenter cette nouvelle exposition Lines and Lineage autour du travail de Tomas van Houtryve.
Artiste pluridisciplinaire, journaliste également, il est difficile de ranger son travail dans une seule case. En effet, son œuvre mêle avec brio une vision documentaire, souvent fruit d’un long travail sur le terrain, ainsi qu’un développement continu de sa technique et des possibilités esthétiques qui en découlent.
Lines and Lineage en est un exemple flagrant. Cette série explore le mythe identitaire américain créé à la suite de la guerre du Mexique en 1848.
En utilisant un appareil de photographies du XIXè siècle et le procédé du négatif sur verre collodion humide, il propose de représenter la population mexicaine spoliée par ce conflit, ce qui n’avait jamais été fait auparavant. Bien que limité aux témoignages des descendants de cette communauté et aux territoires, il parvient à interroger une histoire et une mémoire (de 1848 à nos jours) souvent ensevelies par les mythes américains dominants. Au-delà de l’aspect documentaire, Tomas van Houtryve, grâce à son œil et à sa sensibilité artistique, ne retranscrit pas seulement une part de l’Histoire mais une histoire humaine faite de portraits et de lieux bouleversants.
L’installation vidéo Divided, poursuit à son tour sa réflexion sur les conséquences de la guerre du Mexique mais dans sa forme, s’offre au spectateur comme une œuvre abstraite et métaphorique. La répétition des vagues qui se divisent au contact de cette frontière (une barrière de métal s’étendant dans l’océan Pacifique entre les Etats-Unis et le Mexique), transforme une œuvre assurément politique, en une expérience esthétique hypnotique et envoûtante.
Une des grandes qualités de son travail est cette capacité à toujours explorer de nouvelles techniques artistiques et de ne jamais se laisser enfermer seulement par son sujet. Dans ses précédents travaux, il a déjà eu recours à l’utilisation de caméras thermiques, d’installations vidéos et même de drones. La forme et le fond vont toujours de pair pour renforcer la puissance de son propos et provoquer de véritables chocs esthétiques.
My Lines and Lineage series of photos about the missing photographic history of the American West is the winner of France’s prestigious 2019 Roger Pic Award. For the 27th edition of the award, there was a tie, and the jury selected two award winners. The other winner is Denis Dailleux for his series ln Ghana – We shall meet… read more.
Lines and Lineage solo exhibition from 16 May to
29 June prolonged to 29 July, 2019
galerie baudoin lebon
8 rue Charles François-Dupuis
Tel.+ 33 (0)1 42 72 09 10
About the work
Lines and Lineage takes aim at America’s collective amnesia of history. The work addresses the missing photographic record of the period when Mexico ruled what we now know as the American West. To visualize the people and places from the remarkable yet unseen Mexican era, I chose to photograph the region with glass plates and a 19th-century wooden camera. Portraits of direct descendants of early inhabitants of the West—mestizo, Afro-Latin, indigenous, Crypto-Jewish—are paired with photographs of landscapes inside the original border and architecture from the Mexican period. Lines and Lineage lifts the pervasive fog of dominant Western mythology and makes us question the role that photographs—both present and missing—have played in shaping the identity of the West.
Reviews and praise for Lines and Lineage
“…Using a North American map from 1839 (the same year that photography is thought to have made its debut in Europe), Mr. van Houtryve traveled along Mexico’s old northern border to meet families who have lived in the region for centuries.
His equipment in the Instagram age? A 19th-century camera he found in a Paris antique shop. He stocked up on the glass plates and pungent potions needed for the wet-collodion process, a technique invented in 1851. Doing so, Mr. van Houtryve conjures what the West may have looked like in the Mexican era…”
“His portraits are carefully researched and historically relevant – all of his subjects are descendants of the area’s original Mexican inhabitants. Quiet and dignified, the images pay tribute to Nadar, whose powerful portraits Van Houtryve admires. He focuses on his subjects’ eyes, conveying a sense of their interior life. He presents the work in diptychs that juxtapose portraits with romantic landscapes, reflecting an intimate connection between humans and nature…”
“…Photographing the descendants of families who live on the once-Mexican territory, Van Houtryve proves their existence within a dominant narrative that often ignores them. Using traditional nineteenth century photographic techniques, like wet plate glass negatives, the artist taps into the aesthetic of the 1800s…”
The baudoin lebon gallery was founded in 1976 in Paris. It is a leading dealer of Modern and Contemporary Art, including painting, sculpture and the most significant international photography. The gallery supports radically different works with an enlightened eclecticism.
On April 15, 2019 a fire devastated the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris. Images of the spire and roof engulfed in flames were transmitted around the world, showing a symbol of France and a repository of history at a dramatic moment of distress. On assignment for CNN, I photographed the city of Paris after the smoke cleared. The story and… read more.
The New York Times featured my Lines and Lineage series on April 3, 2019. The article written by Simon Romero, national correspondent for the Times, is copied below: What if Mexico Still Included California, Nevada and Texas? ALBUQUERQUE — Mention the border with Mexico these days and dystopian images might come to mind: Agents detaining children in a holding… read more.
A new panoramic triptych from my Lines and Lineage series will be on display at the Baudoin Lebon gallery (booth 105) at AIPAD in New York City from April 4 to 7, 2019.
About the prints
Coronado Entrada and Border Wall, 2018
Triptych gelatin silver prints, 40 × 30 cm each (16 x 12 inches each) mounted combined size 106 x 48 cm (42 x 19 inches).
Caption: In the year 1540, eighty years before the Mayflower landed at Plymouth, Francisco Vásquez de Coronado and his expedition of hundreds of Spanish and indigenous people entered what is now the United States at this remote spot in Arizona, initiating centuries of Hispanic rule and cultural influence in the Southwest. In 1848, the U.S. military seized half of Mexico’s land and drew the contemporary border. Today, a barrier wall cuts through this same landscape, a deterrent for Hispanic migrants seeking to enter the U.S.
About the series
Lines and Lineage takes aim at America’s collective amnesia of history. The work addresses the missing photographic record of the period when Mexico ruled what we now know as the American West. To visualize the people and places from the remarkable yet unseen Mexican era, I chose to photograph the region with glass plates and a 19th-century wooden camera. Portraits of direct descendants of early inhabitants of the West—mestizo, Afro-Latin, indigenous, Crypto-Jewish—are are paired with photographs of landscapes inside the original border and architecture from the Mexican period. Lines and Lineage lifts the pervasive fog of dominant Western mythology and makes us question the role that photographs—both present and missing—have played in shaping the identity of the West.
About the show
• AIPAD’S Photography Show is the longest-running and foremost exhibition dedicated to the photographic medium, offering a wide range of museum-quality work, including contemporary, modern, and 19th-century photographs as well as photo-based art, video, and new media.
• The Baudoin Lebon Gallery was founded in 1976 in Paris. It is a leading dealer of Modern and Contemporary Art, including painting, sculpture and the most significant international photography. The gallery supports radically different works with an enlightened eclecticism.
Leica Akademie Workshop – Developing a Personal Project Leica Store Milano Via Mengoni 4 20121 Milano Italy An in-depth personal project is often what it takes to transform a good photographer into a great one. Yet undertaking such a project can seem daunting. What are the required steps to start with an idea and build it into a… read more.
Photograph Magazine featured a portfolio and review of my Lines and Lineage project in their January/February 2019 issue. The column was written by Elisabeth Biondi, independent curator and the former Visuals Editor of The New Yorker. The review is copied below, and the portfolio is available only in the print issue of Photograph: “In his latest work, Tomas van… read more.
Six gelatin silver prints from my Lines and Lineage series are on display in the group exhibition, Sanctuary: Building a House Without Walls, in the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine in New York City from February 14 to June 30, 2019.
About Lines and Lineage
We often forget that the boundary between Mexico and the United States was not always where it is today. It used to be 1100 kilometers farther north, following what is now the state line between Oregon and California and running east to Wyoming before zagging southeast to Louisiana. Originally home to the indigenous peoples of the region, much of this land was Spanish and then Mexican territory for centuries before becoming what we now think of as the American West.
Spanish colonists and missionaries settled here beginning in 1598. In 1821, Mexico won independence from Spain, and by the middle of the century, it was in some ways far more advanced than its neighbor to the northeast. It abolished slavery shortly after independence; black Mexicans soon gained prominent positions, including the governorship of California. Indigenous people were given the right to vote. All this came to an end in 1848, when the United States attacked Mexico, seized half its land, and created the border that we know today.
At the time, the war on Mexico was emphatically opposed by prominent Americans, including Abraham Lincoln and John Quincy Adams. Henry David Thoreau penned his groundbreaking essay on Civil Disobedience after his arrest for nonpayment of taxes, an act of defiance of what he called an “unjust” war that aimed to “expand the slave territory.”
Mexican administration was cut short before photographic technology, revealed in Paris in 1839, arrived in the region. The well-known visual record of the American West—dominated by photos of cowboys and white settlers, the Gold Rush and the arrival of the railroads—was created after 1848. Images from the Mexican era, on the other hand, were never fixed in our memory. Using glass plates and a nineteenth-century camera to photograph landscapes along the original border and create portraits of descendants of early inhabitants, this project imagines what that history might look like. It questions the role that photographs—both present and missing—have played in shaping the identity of the West.
About Sanctuary: Building a House Without Walls
The group show focuses on the right to shelter, and beyond that, an exploration of what shelter and sanctuary mean in a world divided by sectarian discord, cultural migration, and ongoing refugee crises. Participating artists include Louise Bourgeois, Alicia Eggert, For Freedoms, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Lewis Hine, John Moore, Tomas van Houtryve, and Alisha Wormsley.