A photographer is an architect of light, a sculptor of color. The camera is an instrument of luminous writing. But it is only in the darkroom, in close quarters with the developed image, that the photographer determines the size and the color scheme of the image. It is during this sensitive, crucial stage that Laure Tiberghien adds her own composition which transforms the image, imbuing it with languid hues that, like waves of color, strike the white beaches of paper. To do this, the artist selects paper of certain quality, and specifically the hard-to-find Ilfochrome paper manufactured in the 1980s–90s. This type of paper possesses the unusual property of being nearly transparent, and it lends Tiberghien’s colorful compositions certain fragility and a ghostly appearance.
One could say that Laure Tiberghien’s images are spectral colors, fragile glimmers magically caught on photosensitive paper. Above all, however, they are prodigious incitements to meditation, not unlike Mark Rothko’s canvases, which they so clearly resemble. Tiberghien’s images assert a similar reign of color that produces a piercing first impression, before plunging us in deep, soulful contemplation. In the way they take shape, they are also reminiscent of Simon Hantaï’s enterprise, which consisted in applying paint to folded canvas to develop stunning oversize compositions. As in Hantaï, Tiberghien’s work involves an element of chance. While the random aspect is subject to relative control, the accidental plays an important part in the process, infusing it with a sense of uncertainty, where the final reveal makes the work or spells its doom. The revelation persists in the eye long after one beheld these images.
By Jean-Baptiste Gauvin
Laure Tiberghien, Assembled variations in a certain order
February 20 to April 13, 2019
Galerie Lumière des roses, 12–14 rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau, 93100 Montreuil