In Lyon, Eric Boetvin awakened the colors of the museum

For a surviving artist, confronting the museum is a matter of dedication, reverence, or challenge. Photographer Eric Botvin is not inconsistent with his placement in this latter category, his words and practices being depicted in a balance between thoughtfulness and vitality.

away from boredom

From his foundation on veterans, validating his graduation course in 1984 until today when he invests in the sunken walls in the history of the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Lyon, Eric Boitvin takes his time, strives, avoids pitfalls, wipes the record clean…and start building again , and always be careful not to settle into the warm comfort of the established artist: “I will get bored”, He admits that he is mischievous. And so he jumps without depriving himself of the image into the still life, moving from the nude to the animal and even to the landscape. Lots of species inhabiting the museum space.

But don’t get bored, and if a museum is a quiet and useful place to meditate, it should be accepted, Eric Botvin has used the slow time of the Covid pandemic to think about his better installation and avoiding the predicament. An agreed approach.

Back to the past

This also looks very good: from the first room, while two modest portraits of two photographers on the job carry us to Hall XIXe Century (that of the invention of photography), the artist chooses to lift the traditional veil with the intention of placing it, as if deserted, at the corner of the base, rather than the form. Picture frames single sculptural mourning of the fifteenthe Horn, the size of a quay, imposed by Jalal Al-Haddad.

Then the words mingle for the ultimate pleasure between the curtain of the statue and the folds of the carelessly placed veil, an instrument that makes the image visible on the frosted glass of the camera. The tone is set and a high-level dialogue, light and radical and abundant, without preconceptions takes place between the artist and the museum. No doubt satisfied with it because Poitevin, who loves to cover his tracks, decides to play a new dice in each space.

→ Portrait. Eric Botvin, Photographer Without Shadows

Moreover, another exchange comes when he strives to reproduce under- or over-exposed versions regarding the perpetual mummy of Saint Francis Zurbaran. Using the photographic viewpoint of art and its history, the reproduction strives to capture more than an interpretation of the work. Unsuccessful or successful, it does not matter, the image remains.

A surprise in every room

This elusive artistic charm is still realized by photographing the edges of some canvases taken from the museum’s reserves on a white background: this part is usually invisible, covered with a frame that does not give much to see and yet is an integral part of a painting. The rest, the so-called subject, the noble part, is here invisible and inaccessible. A beautiful greeting in a simplified form.

Facing Lucas Cranach and his portrait of a Saxon noble lady, he chose to arrange several nude pictures in small figures all over the place, alluding to Venus and Cupid, the honey thief, a subject that Cranach took up again and again. The artist has fun: “She is a bit like a queen bee surrounded by a swarm of young naked people.” There he, again, invites you to travel through turns, with a curious spirit and a light step into the meandering of the history of painting.

Eric Boetvin also summons old works for the occasion, bringing with him images, plants, landscapes, and animals a bit of his own history and his own turmoil in the elegant enclosure of the Musée de Lyon, and so, his large deer vigorously defend his horn before imposing a large table with game and vegetables for Frans Sniders.

There is no obligatory way to discover this enormous gallery, but also its freedom, which is embodied in this long narrow corridor where a frieze of vanity made up of skulls, eggshells, ripe fruits and balloons is aligned, which one can borrow at the beginning or at the end of the visit at will.

Each room is a surprise, a discovery in itself, an art center where a living photographer plays the game and challenges the museum’s constant time. : “It’s good for my photos and it’s good for paintings, the added value of this gallery, it’s there.” Rest assured, it’s good for us too.


The Robelin Collection is on display at MAC

To extend the pleasure of discovering other works by Eric Botvin, You can also go to the Museum of Contemporary Art (MAC) in Lyon, which houses the Robelin family collection: “Family History, Robelin Collection(s).” Fun shared by Anne Marie and Mark Roblin who love Robert Filiu quote: “Art is what makes life more exciting than art.”

The 12 rooms reveal true treasures. From Fluxus to Annette Messager passing by Bernard Frize to the brilliant troupe of German artist Thomas Schütte, the collection combines richness and cohesion in perfect balance.

Until July 10, 2022. Information. :

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