Even in winter, when nature goes to sleep, the Chaumont-sur-Loire estate, near Blois (Loir-et-Cher) continues to celebrate its beauties. The six photographers invited for this season’s exhibition will amaze us in the majestic setting of the Renaissance castle and its outbuildings.
The only woman this year, Berlin-based artist Loredana Nemes shares her love at first sight for the island of Rügen (Germany), on the Baltic. Its trees, magnified in black and white, sometimes seem lit from two sides because of the reflection of the light on the sea. “I feel at home there, protected: these beech trees remind me of the forests of the Carpathians, in Romania, where I was born and where my father carried me on his shoulders,” she confides. We are amazed by the delicacy and sensuality of its fifty shades of gray.
Between abstract and surrealism
Let’s change scale: the Frenchman Thierry Ardouin reveals in large format the astonishing shapes of microscopic seeds. Magnified, this one looks like a silver bull’s head, this other like a meteorite covered with mouths… A mind-blowing journey. Inexhaustible on the history of cereals, the artist also intends to bring neglected seeds, despised by traders, out of oblivion.
In the most beautiful rooms of the castle, with a view of the Loire, we discover the color images of Ljubodrag Andric. This Serbo-Italo-Canadian abolishes the boundaries between reality and its representation. His close-ups of earthen walls, in tones of gold and pink, of a palace in Jaipur, India, become abstract paintings where the eye loses all bearings. Outdoors, Andric waits for the zenith sun to remove any shadow to photograph the large ocher and green staircases of ancient water tanks. The landscape becomes a surrealist painting.
The exhibition continues with the wild and misty mountains of the Korean Bae Bien-U; the undergrowth and portraits of dried plants by Éric Poitevin; or the sumptuous undulating algae of Nicolas Floc’h. Enough to wait while waiting for the International Garden Festival, which will replace them from April 24 to November 3, 2024.