Fondation d’Entreprise Hermès | exposition Patrick Faigenbaum

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Fondation d’Entreprise Hermès | exposition Patrick Faigenbaum

From his first beginnings in photography, over forty years ago, Faigenbaum has combined a documentary approach with a focus on ‘vision’, the act of looking, underpinned by his extensive knowledge of the history of painting
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The Fondation d’entreprise Hermès presents work by photographer Patrick Faigenbaum at La Grande Place, Musée Saint-Louis, the Foundation’s art space in Lorraine (eastern France)

The Fondation d’entreprise Hermès is a long-standing supporter of the visual arts, thanks to its exhibitions programme in dedicated spaces worldwide – a network joined in 2014 by La Grande Place, Musée Saint-Louis, in Saint-Louis-lès-Bitche (eastern France). Throughout 2022, French photographer Patrick Faigenbaum made several extended visits to the Saint-Louis crystal foundry and its surrounding region, the Vosges du Nord, and was invited to create a new series of images. From June 11 to December 29, 2024, “Patrick Faigenbaum at the Cristallerie Saint-Louis” presents new work created during the photographer’s immersive discovery of life at the foundry.

“Patrick Faigenbaum came to the Cristallerie Saint-Louis to retrace the story of drinkingglasses that had fascinated him since childhood: the Tommy series, and specifically a set of multicoloured roemers (glasses for white Alsace wine), which his aunt had received as a wedding gift. In 2022, he visited Saint-Louis-lès-Bitche again and again, spending several weeks in situ at the workshop, and exploring the region. He was fascinated by the production process and the crystal foundry site, established in the 16th century by artisan glassmakers who found the natural resources they required, and the ideal conditions in which to practice their art, here in this valley in the northern Vosges: plentiful wood to stoke the furnace, abundant spring water, sandstone clay, sand and potash. Today, crystal production at the site combines sophisticated technology and ancestral, artisan skills that are transmitted, revisited and laid down over generations. The gestures, objects and places encountered by Patrick Faigenbaum are the raw materials of the series we see here.

From his first beginnings in photography, over forty years ago, Faigenbaum has combined a documentary approach with a focus on ‘vision’, the act of looking, underpinned by his extensive knowledge of the history of painting – the art of composition par excellence. Mindful of the long memory and history of painting, he disengages from the hegemony of the present, in imagery rich with historical depth, that exerts a different, powerful presence of its own. At the Cristallerie Saint-Louis, he was struck by the photographic potential of the brilliance and colour of finely-worked crystal, and by the precision of the gestures and postures adopted by the workshop artisans. The objects themselves, assembled and arranged in the site’s archive (‘attic’) collections, form a world of their own, analogous to the landscapes all around. As a photographer and artist, Faigenbaum is possessed by the enchantment and allure of crystal, while at the same time giving the work of the foundry and its ateliers the close and careful attention they deserve.”

Jean-François Chevrier, exhibition curator

La Grande Place, Musée Saint-Louis
Rue Coëtlosquet – 57620 Saint-Louis-lès-Bitche
Exhibition open from June 11 to December 29, 2024
Daily (except Mondays and December 25) 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

www.fondationdentreprisehermes.org

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