Born in 1961 in Longuyon (FR)
Lives and works in Mangienne (FR)
Represented by the gallery C, Neuchâtel (CH)
Éric Poitevin’s photographs maintain a fine link with the history of painting. Firstly because they explore the traditional genres (landscape, still life, nudes, the vanities) but especially because they proceed from a viewpoint strongly attached to composition that confirms the very particular attention given to the framing itself underlined by the frame. The views of undergrowth express a density and a feeling of immersion that reconnects to abstract painting’s intention of covering. But the analogy stops there because Éric Poitevin asserts a physical link with his subjects, an exclusive and intimate relationship that distances itself from any vague attempt at intellectualization. In this way, he also links himself to the tradition of photography, in particular that of the second half of the 19th century (Nadar, Eugène Atget or even Roger Fenton) and postulates the humility of a medium behind which the operator disappears behind the subject. An intention that explains in part the powerful presence of the latter: the gnarled branches of a tree, a deer lying dead or a stretch of water are restored in all their force without the photograph seeming to interpose its often normative and standardized character.
Poitevin’s work seems to hover between two dominant features. Firstly, it is characterized by an attention to restore environments and places with an enveloping density. This is most particularly the case of the landscapes and forest scenes whose thick curtains of leaves or early morning mists prevent the eye escaping towards the background. The treatment of the subject results from an intention of suspension: the motifs are isolated on uniform black and white backgrounds to the point of seeming to be cut out. They then impose themselves in all their singularity by freeing themselves from their immediate environment. We can observe it in the views of dead deer caught in their fall onto a dark vegetal carpet or even in the series of chunks of bones arranged in a uniformly white corner.
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