Jean-Claude GAUTRAND is a French photographer and historian of photography. He was born in 1932, in Sains-en-Gohelle (France, Pas-de-Calais). During his teenage years, he learnt photography. Later, in his 24, he discovered Otto STEINERT’s work that left him a dramatic impression. Jean-Claude GAUTRAND drawn inspiration from subjective photography movement represented by Otto STEINERT. The photos take some distance with the strict representation of reality, to support the expression of the photographer interiority. We can find this kind of picture, with the care for shape and style, in Jean-Claude GAUTRAND’s series ‘Forteresse du dérisoire’ and ‘Métalopolis’ for instance.

Thus, the famous series ‘L’assassinat de Baltard’ should be analysed through these two dimensions: historical one and subjective one. Jean-Claude GAUTRAND’s series shows us the last moments of the Baltard Halles in Paris. This building was iconic of the end of the XIXth century due to the pioneering use of glass and metallic structures. These photos have an historical function, allowing us to keep the memory of the place, to which the photographer add his own vision. Actually, GAUTRAND’s photoshoots magnify this old marketplace thanks to a careful look at light diffusion. Through the camera of Jean-Claude GAUTRAND, the Halles become a modern cathedral. He underlines the metallic skeletal structure and its arches, strengthening this analogy to cathedral. Moreover, western cities have been built for a long time around those houses of worships. As a cathedral, Baltard Halles embody the hearth of the city. In the center of Paris, its destruction is depicted as a tragedy. In the photos, Jean-Claude GAUTRAND also developed the topic of the ruin. Something seems forever lost. Photography is nurtured by the subjectivity of the photographer. His style assert itself in this subjectivity, he conveys the feeling of a moment and, in a more general way, his own relation to the world.

Jean-Claude GAUTRAND, photographer and champion of the world of photography

In addition to his photos, Jean-Claude GAUTRAND has participated to numerous projects linked to the world of photography. He co-founded le free expression movement in 1963, then he took part in the 30 x 40 club. This well-known club of photography founded by Roger DOLOY, had a prestigious reputation across the world. It published the ‘jeune photographe’ magazine. There, Jean-Claude GAUTRAND met, among others, Jean DIEUZAIDE, Robert DOISNEAU, Jean-Pierre DUCATEZ, Jean-Pierre SUDRE, Léon HERSCHTRITT, Jean-Louis SWINERS, Daniel MASCLET and Patrick ZACHMANN. Jean-Claude GAUTRAND participated to the ‘Rencontres d’Arles’ creation as well, alongside Lucien CLERGUE. In 1978 he was member of the advisory council of administration of the National Foundation of Photography. He joined the administration council of photographic heritage in 2001. He is also a founding member of the Jeu de Paume association (2004).

Fairs & exhibitions:

Société Française de Photographie, Paris, 1967

Fnac, Paris, 1968

Musée Cantini, Marseille, 1968

Galerie des Quatre Vents, Paris – Avignon, 1969

Musée d'art moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris, 1970

Centre International de Séjour, Paris, 1972

Artcurial, Photogalerie, Paris, 1977

Canon Galerie, Genève, Suisse, 1977

Galerie Château d'eau de Toulouse, 1977

Photographer's Gallery, Londres, 1977

Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie, Arles, 1977

Galerie 74, Vienne, France, 1978

Musée Nicéphore-Niépce, Chalon-sur-Saône, 1978

Fnac, Strasbourg, Metz, 1978

Galerie Paule Pia, Anvers, 1979

Mai des Flandres, Grignan, 1980

Week Gallery, Zurich, 1980

Quinzaine de Cholet, 1982

Berner Photo Gallery, Berne, Suisse, 1983

Mémoire des lieux et des temps, Espace Photogaphique de Paris, 1997

Regards croisés, Centre des Bords de Marne, Le Perreux, 1997

Vallées englouties, Galerie J.P Gapihan, Paris, 1999

Itinéraire d’un photographe. 1960-2000, Roubaix et Villeneuve-la-Rivière, 2002

Hommage, Pavillon Baltard, Nogent-sur-Marne, 2002

Forteresses du dérisoire », Galerie Léon Herschtritt, Paris, 2002

Itinéraire d’un photographe 1960-2000, Centre Régional de la Photographie Nord - Pas-de-Calais, Douchy-les-Mines, 2003

Bercy, une balade, Bercy Village, 2003

Galerie W, Paris, 2004

Chroniques arlésiennes, Centre Iris, Paris, 2004

Structures, Galerie Photo, Montpellier, 2005

Camp de Natzwiller-Struthof, Musée Réattu, Arles, 2005

Itinéraire d’un photographe 1960 - 2005, Musée de La Poste, Paris, 2005

Les Boues rouges, Médiathèque de Cernay, 2005

Construction et déconstruction, Galerie Philippe Chaume, Paris, 2006

Galerie Vrais Rêves, Lyon, 2006

Travaux récents, Festival Regards, Villeneuve-la-Rivière, 2006

Le Temps pour dire, Maison des Arts, Conches, 2007

Pavillon Baltard, Salle Wateau, Nogent sur Marne, 2007

Galerie W. Eric Landau, Paris, 2007

Métalopolis – Baltard, Galerie W., Paris, 2007

La Lumière de l’ombre, Médiathèque de Forbach, 2008

Museums & collections: 

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, USA

Georges Eastman House, Rochester, USA

Musée Réattu, Arles,  France

Musée Cantini, Marseille, France

Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris, France

Centre Pompidou, Paris, France

Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris, France


1965 : Prix de la FIAP (paysages)

1967 : Grand Prix de la Photographie d’avant-garde en Espagne

1968 : Grand Prix des Arts de la Ville de Marseille attribué par le Musée Cantini

1984 : Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres

1985 : Prix Vasari et Prix des Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie pour le livre Paris des photographes, tome 1

1986 : Prix Lecuyer pour le livre Hippolyte Bayard, naissance de la photographie


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