circa 1968. A unique 12mo. [11.5 x 9 cm] maquette of 17 leaves of card stock, plus covers; there are 7 leaves of single images facing a blank opposite page, and 7 double page pairs totaling 21 vintage silver gelatin photographs, produced by the mordançage process, and 1 smaller silver gelatin mordançage photograph mounted to the upper cover. The colophon in the artist's hand reads "Jean * Pierre Sudre * Paris * 2/6. The covers and spine show foxing and soil; the mounted silver print has a 1/4 inch spot of wear along the the left edge. The blank pages show occasional spots of light foxing or toning. The lower tip of one image is bumped causing a shallow crease. These defects aside, a very good example. Item #52938
Jean-Pierre Sudre (1921 - 1997) was born in Paris and studied cinematography at the Ecole Nationale de Cinématographie (1941 - 1943) and the Institut des Hautes Etudes Cinématographiques, 1943 - 1945. After the war, there were few opportunities for a film director, so Sudre switched to industrial photography, earning praise for his distinctive style. In 1958, he opened a printing and developing lab with his wife Claudine, servicing the Delpire publishing house and many prominent photographers.
Early in his career, Sudre's photographic work was largely landscape and still life, but through his experimentation into the older processes, he developed the mordançage process, where a silver gelatin photograph is placed in a bleach bath consisting of copper chloride, hydrogen peroxide and glacial acetic acid. The gelatin in the dark areas of the print lifts from the surface and can be manipulated into various shapes or totally removed. The print is then redeveloped with a variety of developers and toners, creating a tonal reversal. This process allowed Sudre to delve deeper into the image, to the micro level, where he used crystals, plants and insects for subjects as images of an alternate and intimate landscape. Sudre's vast knowledge and distinctive style afforded him a great many opportunities to teach this and other processes in several art schools in France.
Although relatively unknown to the American audience, Sudre was widely collected, and exhibited throughout Europe.