La Dialectique de l’ombre — Exposition collective


Drawing, installation, photography, sculpture

La Dialectique de l’ombre
Exposition collective

Past: June 1 → July 13, 2023

Curated by Thierry Bigaignon, and bringing together the work of twelve artists represented and invited, this group exhibition entitled “The Dialectic of the Shadow” delves into the intricate connection between shadow and light, the essence of photography in relation to reality, and the broader implications of art in relation to the world.

The quest for representing reality has long been a subject of contemplation, from the early days of imagery to the emergence of photography. Does reality truly exist, or is it merely a construct of our experiences? If light symbolizes truth, what role does shadow play as its counterpart? Philosopher Eric Lecerf suggests that the presence of shadow is never incidental; it is either the origin of pictorial representation for some or the visual translation of representation for others. However, the shadow, in its dialectical nature, becomes a source of complexity. It is not merely an accompaniment to light, but rather it influences, constrains, and ultimately troubles it. While light aims to dispel shadows, it continuously generates new ones. The shadow, both rival and accomplice of light, in turn Romantic, Caravaggio-esque, Impressionistic or photographic, has never ceased to highlight forms, thus creating a sometimes intimate, sometimes dramatic atmosphere, in its perpetual quest to reveal a presence, to make the very existence of light visible.

Whether in the apparent monochromes of Anne-Camille Allueva, the young French artist who recently joined the gallery, or in the translucent Plexiglas of the Swiss artist Anne Blanchet, we also sense in these two artists a desire to make light visible. Conversely, artist Sophie Coroller’s wall sculptures are rooted in principles of invisibility. Composed of carbon and glass, they migrate across the wall, resembling contemporary Nabokov butterflies. A choreography of resistance devoid of tension, the lines extend towards a non-contracting absolute, submerging us in an optical illusion. We perceive a shadow without comprehending its origin. The source of light becomes elusive, leaving us pondering on what could have caused the emergence of a shadow that is nonetheless real!

The optical illusion continues in the piece presented by Renato D’Agostin which will surprise the many connoisseurs of his work. His signature, the splendor of his silver gelatin prints, is evident, but this time the Italian artist has created a photographic sculpture in which steel, reflections and cast shadows are combined and expand infinitely through a clever use of mirrors. The work of Mireille Fulpius, invited for the occasion and best known for her work in wood over the past four decades, is also about sculpture and steel. Inspired by the Fibonacci sequence, the two pieces presented here, oscillating between presence and absence, empty and full, light and shadow, question us about reality and its perception.

Renowned for their exquisite silver gelatin prints, American master Ralph Gibson, the « greyscale prodigy » Yannig Hedel and the late Denis Malartre (whose work is being exhibited at the gallery for the first time) do not limit themselves to writing with light, but seek it out, explore it and examine it with shadow as a counterpoint. And one could say that counterpoint is the prerogative of Antony Plasse, the young French artist, resident at POUSH and invited for the occasion. Not content with literally painting with light through the use of silver gelatin on his canvases, he erases its traces, and by practicing the fold and incision on his torn canvases, the artist seems to get rid of the light in order to paint with the shadow itself.

Thomas Paquet’s installation, situated in the realm between Plato’s allegory and the myth of Narcissus, and Oliver Ratsi’s captivating work, considered a worthy successor to the influential Light & Space movement, create a striking impact within the exhibition space, engaging in a harmonious dialogue. Amidst the interplay of tangible and fictitious anamorphoses, real reflections, and imagined shadows, our gaze becomes disoriented… ultimately fixating on a significant artwork: a historical composition by Elyn Zimmerman, dating back to 1975. Discovered by Thierry Bigaignon a few years ago at the Contemporary Art Center in Copenhagen, during a momentous exhibition titled “Light & Space” dedicated to the iconic Californian movement of the 1960s, in which Elyn Zimmerman emerged as one of the pioneering figures alongside James Turrell, Larry Bell, and Robert Erwin, Zimmerman’s masterful composition, comprising silver prints and pencil drawings, puts forth the hypothesis that light and shadow can coalesce, thereby emphasizing the passage of time.

Featuring a diverse array of mediums including silver gelatin prints, photograms, sculptures, anamorphoses, installations, and works on canvas, “The Dialectic of the Shadow” is a multifaceted exhibition that explores the enigmatic relationship between light and shadow. It highlights the profound connection between the two, as shadow only exists in the presence of light while being defined by its complete absence!

  • Opening Thursday, June 1 6 PM → 9 PM
  • La Dialectique de l’ombre Event 2023-06-03 11:00:00 +0200 → 2023-06-04 02:00:00 +0200


03 Le Marais Zoom in 03 Le Marais Zoom out

18, rue du Bourg-Tibourg

75004 Paris

Hôtel de Ville

Opening hours

Tuesday – Saturday, 11 AM – 7 PM
Other times by appointment Ouverture également sur rendez-vous pour visites privées, 7 jours/7, entre 10h et 20h. Réservation sur le site de la galerie.

Venue schedule

The artists

And 2 others…

From the same artists