JEAN-PIERRE COUDERC

Métro aérien III

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The artist

Both photographer and journalist, Jean-Pierre Couderc covered French political, artistic, literary, and sports news for the magazine L’Express. From 1970 to 2003, he thus produced many portraits of personalities who marked the history of the second half of the 20th century. Several thousands of photographs are now conserved by the Roger-Viollet Agency, including some that were captured with a handheld camera in the streets of Paris, as he documented the city, its daily life and architecture. A reporter who favours long-term assignments, while Jean-Pierre Couderc has for instance photographed behind the scenes of the Louvre Museum for a month, one of his major projects was that of following the evolution of the suburb of La Défense for fifteen years and devoting a captivating series of photographs to the capital’s aerial transit system in 1980. With great sensitivity and humanity, Jean-Pierre Couderc builds up a portrait of Paris and manages, in his own way, to capture the poetry emanating from the architecture and inhabitants of this city that has inspired so many writers and artists throughout history. While this series bears witness to Couderc’s great technical mastery, it also reveals the artist’s attraction to the juxtapositions of ordinary and exceptional aspects that make up the lesser and greater history of Paris.  ... See more See less

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About the artwork

In this series, Jean-Pierre Couderc represented thoroughfares, bridges and stairways characteristic of the Parisian metro and in particular its elevated stations. The latter were installed between 1902 and 1909, taking the form of viaducts built above the roadway or across the Seine. These metal structures, made in the spirit of the works of Gustave Eiffel, are showcased here through an elegant interplay of light and shade, reinforced by the use of black and white photography. Heavy contrasts contribute to defining the volumes and geometry of this architecture that has since been integrated into the cityscape, becoming a feature of it. While this series bears witness to Couderc?s great technical mastery, it also reveals the artist?s attraction to the juxtapositions of ordinary and exceptional aspects that make up the lesser and greater history of Paris.

Artwork details

Date photograph was taken

30 December 2013

Artwork subject

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