The Charles Nègre Museum of Photography is dedicating an exhibition to artist Catherine Larré entitled “Antheses”. The Museum Gallery becomes Catherine Larré’s experimental field, who stages the flowering and wilt of flowers. A real trip to the land of the spleen, whose visitor can try to unravel the mysteries.
Catherine Larré collects images, often from insignificant subjects, which she archives to form a catalog from which she draws the raw material for her compositions. She chooses the photographs, cuts them out, alters them, glues them, superimposes them, projects them, suspends them to constitute fragile and subtle constructions that then she photographs again
In the resulting works, bathed in a simultaneously dreamlike and threatening atmosphere, it is often a question of childhood, fluids, dissolution of images, permeability between reality and fiction. The become a disturbing strangeness, this discomfort born of a break in the reassuring rationality of everyday life. Catherine Larré plows deeper lands, tells us about death and resurrection, disappearance and reappearance, transformation, destruction and reconstruction, renewal and perpetuation…all themes related to the cycle of life and death that are at the core of the reflection of the great mystics.
Floating or suspended bodies, sick bodies, stone bodies; reconstructed, dreamed, and unreal landscapes invaded the space of the images. In the 2010s, continuing her exploration of the major themes of painting, Catherine Larré began work around the floral theme. Disturbing and poetic, the photographs in the “Render” series reveal tight frames of the bottom of children’s faces.
Whenever they open their mouths, they appear to eat or regurgitate already decomposed flowers. Flowing and flowery, these flowery mouths with their brightness and supernatural beauty recall childhood and fairy tales, the beauty of youth and death, and our last breath. This question of disappearance is also at work in the series “Mnesia”, even if at first glance it seems to question pictoriality and memory.
Already very present in his older photographs, such as the “Canded”, Catherine Larré seizes the painter’s tools and materials and authorizes herself to paint directly on photographic supports that she has either made herself or that she reappropriates. This includes collected images of travel or memories. Photographs, flowers and efflorescences seem to reappear. References to the masters of the past are numerous. There is an echo of the pictorial works of the early 20th century of Impressionist genres and landscape scenes. The influence of 17th century Dutch painting, for which the bouquet of flowers is apprehended as vanity, an allegorical representation of passing time, is pervasive.
This crushing of photographic material continues in the most recent works. Thanks to processes that are always physical and gestural and not digital, images overlap, overlap, reveal themselves. Catherine Larré’s photographs, beyond these artistic references, suggest our mortal state and evoke our disappearance: banal photos are threatened with destruction, family photographs adorn themselves with their most stylish outfits before disappearing. Artists make them, glitter gives them their last colours. The flowers regain a last youth before turning old.
Follow Catherine on Instagram here.
Galerie du musee de la Photographie Charles Negre
Opening on June 16, 2022 at 6:30 pm
June 17, 2022 – September 11, 2022
1, place Pierre Gautier – Nice