CANNES.- « Your disregard of established values removes us from these cultural peons »...The note sent to André Villers by Robert Doisneau thirty years ago echoes the very sentiments of the photographer in his autobiography. A reading of the excerpts presented here is a testament in the image of the man himself to a simple and candid language, on occasion radical and not devoid of irony, which is quite clearly leagues removed from the convoluted gibberish typically spawned by the art world.
You can also listen to it in this introductory interview to the visit, in the reflection of the poster dedicated to the Picasso, Paths of the South exhibition shown this summer, which is directly linked to the work of this photographer who captured metamorphosis and chance so well and whose 60-year career is being celebrated by La Malmaison Arts Centre today.
Doisneau also said: In these times when the media enforce their inclination for the products of stridency and guile, your discretion, André Villers, seems only reasonable, that we might but furtively catch a glimpse of your graphic research.
As if to say «message received», André Villers, 60 years of photography finally provides an insight into the experiments conducted in this laboratory where freedom, poetry and love for the other ran abound and from where, amidst shadows and light, transparency and matter, the unusual, transformation, misappropriation and revelation were born.
A second part shows the collection of 34 photo collages acquired by the Centre dArt. If their surrealist style is a nod to Cézanne, Prévert, César or Butor, they are in fact a self-proclaimed ode to the greatest artist of the 20th century, Pablo Picasso, who viscerally marked André Villers and his world.
This exhibition invites you to see something different, according to the credo adopted by the artist and so evident in his work. No better, nor any more than what the others created, simply something different which showcases the wonderment of this prospector nurtured on ingenuity...