CLERGUE & WESTON
FIRST SHOW, FIRST WORKS
CURATED BY SAM STOURDZÉ
In July 1970, the Festival d’Arles opened the first Rencontres Photographiques under the leadership of Lucien Clergue, Jean- Maurice Rouquette and Michel Tournier with “An Homage to Weston“, a show of 36 prints by Edward Weston, whose photographs were then very rare in France. To mark the festival’s 50th anniversary, we are recreating the Weston show as it was presented in 1970. At the same time, we wanted to celebrate the festival’s founder, photographer and curator Lucien Clergue. Weston seems like a tutelary figure who guided Clergue’s first steps as a photographer, as his notebooks, most dating from the 1950s and unknown until now, attest. We have brought them together for this show. Reuniting them for this anniversary is a way of recognizing that the history of photography is written in successive strata. Clergue’s fossilized carrion singularly respond to Weston’s anthropomorphic works.
Image: Lucien Clergue, The Rag-picker’s Mannequins, Arles, 1956. Courtesy of the Atelier Lucien Clergue and Saif 2019.
Born 1934 in Arles, France.
Died 2014 in Nîmes, France.
In 1957, Lucien Clergue published his first book, Corps mémorable; Picasso signed the cover. He exhibited at MoMA in 1961 and founded the Rencontres photographiques d’Arles in 1969 with Jean-Maurice Rouquette and Michel Tournier. His work is in the world’s greatest collections. In 2006, he was elected to the Académie des Beaux-Arts.
Portrait of Lucien Clergue ©️ R. Durand
Born 1886, Highland Park, Illinois, USA.
Died 1958 in Carmel by the Sea, California, USA.
Edward Weston’s first experience of photography was in the parks of Chicago, but it was in California that he opened his first studio, in 1911. Until the early 1920s, he used an anachromatic lens, producing soft-focus images, but later turned towards a new aesthetic, “pure photography.” In 1932, he and Ansel Adams cofounded the Group f/64. In 1937 he was awarded the first Guggenheim Fellowship for photography.
Born 1973 in Paris, France.
Lives and works in Paris and Arles, France.
Once a boarder at the Villa Medici, Sam Stourdzé became director of the Rencontres d’Arles in 2014. Previously he was director of the Musée de l’Élysée in Lausanne and, from 2010 through 2014, editor in chief of ELSE magazine.
A specialist in images, he researches the contexts of their production, distribution, and reception. He has been curator and co-curator of numerous exhibitions and published several works, including “Le Cliché-Verre de Corot à Man Ray“; the Dorothea Lang and Tina Modotti retrospectives; “Chaplin et les images“; “Fellini, la grande parade“; and, most recently, “Derrière le Rideau: L’esthétique Photomaton“ and “Paparazzi! Photographes, stars et artistes“.