Lucien Clergue – French photographer who shoots a nude body. Jean Cocteau called him “a poet with a camera,” Pablo Picasso – “Monet with a camera.” Art nude – one of the most complex genres in terms of working with the object, and everyone looking at the pictures will have their own ideas about grace, good taste and facets of decency. Photos of Klerga are just on the verge of sophistication and provocation.
Nudes, Zebra nudes, Gypsies, Pablo Picasso, Jean Cocteau, Bullfight, Landscapes, Sands, Homage to Courbet… Lucien Clergue photographs belong to the greatest museum collections.
Lucien Clergue’s work is deeply rooted in his home city of Arles.
Picking up a camera as a young man in post-war Provence, he took a different route than other artists of his generation, turning his lens on the rubble and destruction of France after the war, often shooting in low-lit, decimated homes.
In addition to his scenes of the city, Clergue’s oeuvre includes incisive images of peers such as Pablo Picasso, Jean Cocteau, and other iconic figures in the south of France.
It is his faceless female nudes, however—from the subtle eroticism of his beachside scenes to the chic geometries of his black-and-white “Nu Zebre” series—that have become the artist’s signature.
Lucien Clergue works at the factory until 27 years old and publishes his first book « Corps Mémorable »in 1957 at Pierre Seghers edition, illustrated by Paul Eluard poems. He meets Picasso in 1953 who will design the book cover. Cocteau will write the introduction poem.
Since then, he published more than 80 books in France, USA, Japan, Germany, Italy, Great Britain, Spain, Canada.
In 2015, Photo Poche is published by Actes Sud and a catalogue by RMN for his exhibition at Grand Palais “Lucien Clergue, Les Premiers Albums”.