(Born in Versailles, en 1954)
Sculptor, photographer and videographer, Henri Foucault transfigures Monet’s garden through the use of photograms and Swarovski Crystals ®.
Between sculpture and photography
As a child, Henri Foucault discovered the ancient photographs of Giorgio Sommer, Etienne Carjat or Nadar, in the albums that his great-grandfather collected. He studied at the École des beaux-arts in Versailles before being admitted, in 1977, to the studio of sculptor Michel Charpentier at the École nationale des beaux-arts in Paris.
Very early, he showed great interest in early cinema : Fritz Lang, Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau, Raoul Walsh. With the Photogramme-Inox series, from 1991 to 1994, he integrated photographic practice into his artistic work for the first time.
Foucault focuses on the representation of the body in its sculptural dimension. In 2000 and 2002, he began the series Sosein and Satori which question the notions of absence / presence, negative / positive, and which were presented in 2005 at the Venice Biennale. In 2008, he benefited from a retrospective at the Monnaie de Paris. Since 1995, he has been teaching photography and video at the École nationale des Arts Décoratifs, in Paris.
Monet’s garden, from photograms to sparkling crystals
Invited in 2011 by the musée des impressionnismes Giverny, Henri Foucault set about creating an interpretation and an evocation of Monet‘s water garden, based on a long documentary phase. He collected plants and leaves from the gardeners of the Fondation Monet and used theme to produce a series of photograms, entitled Vibrations.
On large sheets of photographic paper, he then imagined shapes, inspired by his drawings and photograms, which he covered with thousands of Swarovski crystals®. The results are called Green Light and Deep Blue, two large works between sculpture and photography. Their scintillating surface translate the sensations of another time, that of perception. From the photogram to the glitter of crystals, Henri Foucault manages to make the shiver of light, water and air perceptible.