circa 1970. 8vo., 7 3/4 x 5 7/8 inch [19.5 x 14.5 cm] artist's book of 13 leaves of card stock, plus covers; there are 6 leaves of single images and 5 double page pairs totaling 16 vintage gelatin silver photographs, produced by the mordançage process. The front cover has a sheet of Japanese grass paper affixed to the blank board; it is torn and lacking a portion of the fore edge. The rear blank board shows foxing. The images are fine and bright. Housed in a card slipcase covered in a Japanese paper, which is foxed and partially cracked at the upper joint. In all, a very good or better copy. Item #52939
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 gelatin silver 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 broad American audience, Sudre exhibited throughout Europe and is widely collected.