IN FOCUS

Édouard Boubat: The song of the women

The Agathe Gaillard Gallery in Paris surveys Édouard Boubat’s work with a focus on the theme of romanticism. The show is an invitation to a gingerly walk before female models, whose grace is captured in refined portraits.

Lella, Bretagne, France, 1947 © Edouard Boubat, Courtesy Galerie Agathe Gaillard

It’s if he were losing his touch, felt embarrassed or small… It’s if he were unable to come too close and was compelled to merely brush past their bodies with the restraint of a discreet, modest man… The women photographed by Édouard Boubat are like apparitions rising with the dawn, blossoming in the company of flowering trees, or out having a good time by a river that trails off into the distance. In the photographer’s work, the woman becomes a myth, elevated to the status of an icon. She is a sensitive plate that registers exquisite reveries. This is true of the lady with windblown hair poised on the bank of the Seine in Paris. She stands draped in a mane of hair that quite literally swallows up her face, forming a strange mask: an airy specter on a sunny day. “He loved long-haired women. He asked me to introduce him to ladies with long hair,” recalls Agathe Gaillard. His photographs are populated with heads of hair, sometimes dancing, sometimes shrouding the place, sometimes hiding a countenance.

Sophie, Collioure, France, 1954 © Edouard Boubat, Courtesy Galerie Agathe Gaillard

Purity

“The model–photographer relationship is sometimes nearly a confrontation. … One must withstand the unavoidable ordeal of forced intimacy in front of the lens. Behind his camera, the photographer must make himself acceptable,” wrote Édouard Boubat in his book La Photographie. With women, he seems to have made himself invisible, surreptitiously catching their finesse and beauty, as for example this lady in a hat walking through a field of sunflowers. Or the one standing on a broken-down boat by the river: she is hiding and as she turns away from the camera, we can glimpse the outline of her breast—chaste eroticism that testifies to the photographer’s purity. Nudity in his work is often barely touched upon and elegance always celebrated. Édouard Boubat also says: “Every skin texture is like a silver crystal. The body is a song of light. It is iridescent like water.” With women, he seems to have pushed this formula to its limit.

Paris, France, 1948 © Edouard Boubat, Courtesy Galerie Agathe Gaillard  

Cerisier en fleurs, France, 1983 © Edouard Boubat, Courtesy Galerie Agathe Gaillard  

Sophie, France, 1954 © Edouard Boubat, Courtesy Galerie Agathe Gaillard  

Lella, France, 1948 © Edouard Boubat, Courtesy Galerie Agathe Gaillard  

Autoportrait à 19 ans, Paris, 1942 © Edouard Boubat, Courtesy Galerie Agathe Gaillard

 

Edouard Boubat « Romantique »

From March 29 to May 11, 2019

Galerie Agathe Gaillard, 3, Rue du Pont Louis-Philippe, 75004 Paris

10 Apr 2019 by Jean-baptiste Gauvin

Trending articles

IN FOCUS

Wim Wenders by Wim Wenders

From April 18 to 22, a visual installation designed by the filmmaker Wim Wenders will occupy the Nave of the Grand Palais. The exhibition curator, Jérôme Neutres, who came up with the idea, answers our questions.

12 Apr 2019 by Jean-baptiste Gauvin
IN FOCUS

André Kertész’s windows

Until May 4, the Bruce Silverstein Gallery in New York showcases the series Window Views by one of photography’s pioneers, André Kertész. From the time he moved to the United States in 1952 until his death in 1985, the Hungarian photographer created contemplative images by photographing the view from his twelfth-floor apartment window in Washington Square.

17 Apr 2019 by Claire Debost
IN FOCUS

Miles Aldridge’s aggressively witty mises-en-scène

Until May 4, the Christophe Guye Gallery (Zürich) is featuring the work of the British photographer Miles Aldridge. Entitled Screenprints, Polaroids and Drawings, it spotlights his work in the medium of silkscreen printing, some preparatory works, as well as a selection of his best-known pieces.

29 Mar 2019 by Sophie Puig

Similar articles

IN FOCUS

Miles Aldridge’s aggressively witty mises-en-scène

Until May 4, the Christophe Guye Gallery (Zürich) is featuring the work of the British photographer Miles Aldridge. Entitled Screenprints, Polaroids and Drawings, it spotlights his work in the medium of silkscreen printing, some preparatory works, as well as a selection of his best-known pieces.

29 Mar 2019 by Sophie Puig
IN FOCUS

Catherine Balet’s genre scenes

Catherine Balet’s latest work is currently on view at the Thierry Bigaignon Gallery in Paris. Straddling collage, painting, and photography, the exhibition Moods in a Room will be challenging our ways of looking until March 30.

11 Mar 2019 by Coline Olsina