On the occasion of the Month of Photography 2022, and in collaboration with the Estate of Etienne Bertrand Weill, Galerie Maria Wettergren is pleased to present the gallery’s second solo exhibition of Etienne Bertrand Weill’s work, featuring over twenty original silver gelatin and cibachrome prints from the 1960s and 1970s.
‘Sculpting light’ [Sculpter la lumière] is the title behind E. B. Weill’s project, who in the 1950s began his kinetic work based on light in motion. Inventor of his own tools and creative processes conceived specifically to produce these families of images, it was in around 1957 that he began to build mobiles made from simple materials (wood, glass, Plexiglas, wire…) that he then subjected to light and various movements. E. B. Weill imagined an art where the film would not have “even enough time to seize the contours of the object. What remains of the object’s form is a new transient appearance”. This momentary appearance, he would name Metaform [Métaforme].
In a dedicatory poem written in 1963 entitled ‘Un commerce de lumières forgées avec le surnaturel’ (A Trade of Forged Lights with the Supernatural), Jean Arp echoes his admiration for E. B. Weill’s “Metaforms”, which he likened to “an astral combing… ropes of stars… from real stars to dreamy companions… hourglass wonders… vibrations and waves of flowers.” A book project is later born in 1964, imagined as a ‘naked’ dialogue between Arp’s poem and 12 of E. B. Weill’s “Metaforms”. It would nevertheless remain in the state of a preprint model. Galerie Maria Wettergren is delighted to publish, for the first time, a limited edition of this unseen art book, based on the original model. The publication is scheduled for December 16, 2022, and will be marked by a public reception at the gallery.
For the scenography of the exhibition, Galerie Maria Wettergren will pay tribute to the kinetic dimension of his art with photographic works suspended freely in space, inspired by E.B. Weill’s exhibitions of the 1960s and 70s. A continuation of the exhibition will include a projection of his audio-visual work ‘Musique pour les yeux’ (Music for the Eyes), kinetic suites of Metaforms composed in collaboration with other artists, musicians, dancers, and comedians, revealing the artist’s aspiration towards a musical and immaterial dimension; a total art.
« Étienne Bertrand Weill invents “abstract” images by making mobiles and putting them into motion in front of his camera, resulting in beautiful imaginary volumes, with bodies of light and skins of shadow. » Jean-Claude Lemagny, curator of prints at the BnF National Library, France.
E. B. Weill’s pioneering work remains avant-garde even today. The 2012 retrospective at the BnF, Vertige du Corps, testifies to this and was preceded by a large number of solo and group exhibitions, as well as screenings of ‘Music for the Eyes.’ E. B. Weill’s work can be found in private collections and museums in France including the Centre Pompidou, Paris; Musée Reattu, Arles; and the BnF, Paris. His works can equally be found in collections in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany and Israel.
- ETIENNE BERTRAND WEILL – UN COUP DE PEIGNE ASTRAL
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On the occasion of the Month of Photography 2022, and in collaboration with the Estate of Etienne Bertrand Weill, Galerie Maria Wettergren is pleased to present the gallery’s second solo exhibition of Etienne Bertrand Weill’s work, featuring over twenty original silver gelatin and cibachrome prints from the 1960s and 1970s. ‘Sculpting light’ [Sculpter la lumière] […]