Photography

Clergue, Lucien (1934 - 2014)

In his late teens, Lucien Clergue photographs bird carcasses, dead bulls and cemeteries. When he presents his work to Pablo Picasso, the artist promptly becomes friends with the young photographer and helps him launch his career. There is a reason for such darkness, the French photographer has just lost his mother whom he had accompanied and looked after during a long illness. Yet, one day, Lucien Clergue discovers one of Edward Weston’s nudes and immediately decides to exalt beauty through young and voluptuous bodies: life must win over death. From 1957, he explores the nude genre, depicting lascivious bodies often associated to the sea and the beach, curves confounding themselves with nature and sculpted by light and shadows - playing in particular with stripes. And because he now favors vitality and warmth over death, he closely observes the gypsies of his luminous Southern France, people that exult with intensity, with their dances, their talking hands and their mischievous children.
 

Lucien Clergue, Gypsy wedding dance
Lucien Clergue, Gypsy wedding dance
Lucien Clergue, David Hockney/Bedford, Massachussets, 1984
Lucien Clergue, David Hockney/Bedford, Massachussets, 1984
Lucien Clergue, Trash on the beach, Camargue, France, c. 1972-1975
Lucien Clergue, Trash on the beach, Camargue, France, c. 1972-1975
Lucien Clergue, Gypsy children
Lucien Clergue, Gypsy children
Lucien Clergue, Gypsies, 1952
Lucien Clergue, Gypsies, 1952
Lucien Clergue, Gypsy
Lucien Clergue, Gypsy
Lucien Clergue, Jean Cocteau and the Sphinx, during filming of 'Testament of Orpheus', Les Baux de Provence, France, 1959
Lucien Clergue, Jean Cocteau and the Sphinx, during filming of 'Testament of Orpheus', Les Baux de Provence, France, 1959
Lucien Clergue, Young gypsy dancer, 1961
Lucien Clergue, Young gypsy dancer, 1961
Lucien Clergue, Gypsy children
Lucien Clergue, Gypsy children
Lucien Clergue, Bird fallen from the nest, 1955
Lucien Clergue, Bird fallen from the nest, 1955
Lucien Clergue, Sand of Camargue, France, 1974
Lucien Clergue, Sand of Camargue, France, 1974
Lucien Clergue, Death of the Bull, 1963
Lucien Clergue, Death of the Bull, 1963
close

Share this picture on