Jean-Baptiste Huynh — Rémanence



Jean-Baptiste Huynh

Past: October 4 → December 31, 2012

For this exhibition, responding to an invitation from the Louvre in keeping with its mission to promote the work of contemporary photographic artists, Jean-Baptiste Huynh presents a series of images inspired by the museum’s collections, thus following in the footsteps of Patrick Faigenbaum, Jean-Luc Moulène, Candida Höfer, Christian Milovanoff and Mimmo Jodice.

This group of very large format silver-gelatin prints mounted using the Diasec process offers a semi-abstract reading of a variety of objects, sculptures and paintings meticulously selected from among those displayed in the Louvre’s galleries.

Huynh’s chosen subjects range from an amulet, a mask with gold-leaf decoration, a bowl, and a sieve to a landscape and a portrait. The artist has favored works that for him symbolize the notion of passage, those whose essence lies in something handed down and that function as reflectors of light.

Huynh thus embarks upon a journey through the Louvre in all its universality, retranscribed within this keenly observed, intimate anthology. Details and singular characteristics give each image its life force, its distinctive spirit: the ravages of time, the nuances of oxidation, a marble sculpture’s smooth and shiny surface, emotion expressed through dilated pupils, etc. Given new dimensions through the medium of photography, each work is thus put into orbit, levitated, magnified in its greatness like a ritual object before which one pauses to meditate.

Jean-Baptiste Huynh was born in 1966 in the Loire valley town of Châteauroux to a French mother and a Vietnamese father. A self-taught artist, Huynh offers a genuine homage to the history of art with this series at the Louvre. And yet the approach adopted here is akin to one that has already preoccupied him for some time. As a result, these works reconnect with those in Huynh’s earlier series: the artist’s taciturn portraits chronicling his travels through various countries, his altered Miroirs reminiscent of planets, the luminous abstractions of his Crépuscules, and the multiple facets of his “Feu” series.

This new series is animated by the same spirit of discretion and contemplation, the same quest for fullness while reducing to essentials that lives in every one of Huynh’s images, conveying the artist’s originality and captivating the viewer.

Jean-Baptiste Huynh lives and works in Paris. He is represented by Sonnabend Gallery in New York and Camera Work in Berlin. In 2006, the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris devoted a major retrospective to his work.

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Palais royal, musée du Louvre

75001 Paris

Palais Royal – Musée du Louvre

Opening hours

Every day except Tuesday, 9 AM – 6 PM
Late night on Wednesday, Friday until 9:30 PM
Lundi, jeudi, samedi, dimanche : fermeture des salles à partir de 17h30

Admission fee

Full rate €15.00

D’octobre à mars : le premier dimanche de chaque mois, l’accès aux collections permanentes est gratuit pour tous.

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The artist

  • Jean Baptiste Huynh