Galerie Nathalie Obadia is pleased to give photographer Thomas Klotz a carte blanche. Hailing from northern France, Thomas Klotz first became know for a work published in 2019 by EYD Paris, NORTHSCAPE, which presents a series focused on his region’s suburban landscapes, along the lines of the American “New Topographics” movement.
Continuing with his exploratory approach toward his familiar environment, the artist presents here a recent work titled I’ll never be young again, which will be the object of a publication in January 2021.
In this new series, Thomas Klotz addresses the theme of adolescence and the anxieties that come with it, by referencing his twelve-year-old daughter. Devoid of narrative dimension, this implicit portrait takes shape through anonymous images, “punctuation exercises,” where walls, volumes, materials, voids and shadows are all surfaces of projection, silent commentary. Heavily influenced by Lewis Baltz, Thomas Klotz directs his attention to the everyday, the trivial, where the shot resembles a micro-input of something that, in the photographer’s eye, takes on an intriguing and singular thickness. In addition, through his framing, Thomas Klotz turns away from what naturally draws the eye while suggesting presence by way of hints that attest to a life captured candidly toward a tipping point.
In counterpoint, the full-length photograph of the young girl, with her eyes pointed at the objective, marks a frontal return to the human figure in the artist’s work, which still tends toward a sort of pictorial abstraction. This portrait combines a certain number of visual reminiscences, incarnating, more or less cryptically, what underlies each image: attributes of childhood, resurgence of the floral motif and of the color yellow, golden, which, from a certain, metaphorical point of view, refers to the ephemeral character of nature and, by extension, to this transitory age (“Nature’s first green is gold, Her hardest hue to hold. Her early leaf’s a flower; But only so an hour.”). Thomas Klotz speaks of “secret passages,” “ghosts”: the variety of scenes portraits, landscapes, cityscapes, interiors finds its coherence in these mysterious affinities, these underground connections, which are in fact specific to the adolescent world.
If certain elements denote an evident toughness, the prints’ bright or outrageous colors contribute to unifying the series in an atmosphere that tends to be anxiety-inducing. In fact, Thomas Klotz uses several different practices, from the contemporary inkjet print to the older dye-transfer technique, popularized by William Eggleston in the 1960s and widely used in advertising until the 1990s. The latter process, with its unique chromatic rendering, consists in applying each primary color to a paper, one layer at a time, using templates. Here, it allows him to evoke a world that contains its excesses and its shares of shadows, angsty visions that the artist recognizes as also being his own.
« A door opening onto a room, a red pole, of course, present-day settings, meaning that we no longer know in which country we are, even if their author says that Eggleston marked it.
And in all of this, in this whole story of photographs with lines, spaces, angles — her daughter, the daughter of the author of the photographs, who is there, looking like she is waiting. It seems simple, but it speaks of presence in the places, therefore a poetry of expectation [...] Waiting for photos to be taken, without asking what they are for, but just to be there, communicating between the photographer and the photographee, like an exchange of mute words, as the photograph makes it possible to speak in silence, just through looks, because it is always about that, the look.
These photos in settings that are not spectacular, but necessary, and the current passes, because when nothing seems to happen, there a lot of things going on, connivances, non-smiles [...] Thomas Klotz’s photographs, apparently so silent, present his way of perceiving the world, because we should never forget that each photographer sees and feels differently than any other. »*
* Bernard Plossu, extracts from the Preface of Eve, la montagne et la jeune fille, Thomas Klotz, EYD editions.
Born in Seclin (Hauts de France), in 1977, Thomas Klotz lives and works in Paris.
His first book, NORTHSCAPE, was published in September 2019 by EYD Paris. It was then exhibited in Paris, Arles, Geneva and London.
His second volume, Eve, la montagne et la jeune fille will be published in January 2021, again by EYD.
The carte blanche given to Thomas Klotz at the Galerie Nathalie Obadia is proposed as part of Photo Days Paris which will be held in 30 parisian galleries from January 6 to February 6, 2021.