— Parigi (Francia), 1954
Since receiving international acclaim in the mid-1980s for his portraits of Italian aristocratic families, Patrick Faigenbaum has situated his work within the heart of the pictorial tradition, emphasizing the expressive power of photography and its position within art history. The first major presentation of Faigenbaum’s work in Canada, the exhibition features more than 75 photographs dating from the 1970s to the present.
For this Paris-born artist, photography-whether presented alone or in a series-offers a time and space set apart from life and held in tense, contemplative stillness by its frame. Over the past 25 years, Faigenbaum has travelled throughout Europe creating portraits of people and places. Initially trained as a painter, his large-scale photographic tableaux are infused with the artistic effects of light and shadow, texture and other visual cues that reference the histories of painting, photography and cinema. His portraits of individuals reveal the fleeting intimacy and ultimate distance between artist and sitter, while his photographs of urban peripheries and rural landscapes allude to the socioeconomic changes taking place within Europe.
By capturing the nuances of the situations he encounters, Patrick Faigenbaum creates a compelling ambience that isolates a moment outside the incessant flow of time, prompting the viewer to acknowledge the impossibility of fully understanding the complex narratives that extend beyond each image.