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Jean-Luc Mylayne

Blazing Red
June 5 – August 15, 2003

Barbara Gladstone Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of new work by French photographer Jean-Luc Mylayne.

Mylayne's large format, color photographs are the result of his patient, even obsessive observations of wild birds in their natural habitats. His process involves spending months with his subjects, waiting for the moments in which their communal existence can be realized as a photographic composition. These intimate representations of birds lend themselves to a seemingly direct relationship between the observer and the observed, the artist and his subject. However, Mylayne's photographs are not so much portraits of individual birds as they are meditations on the concepts of knowledge and time that shape our existence.

A self-taught photographer, Mylayne's practice is a very personal one that combines his passions for art and ornithology, while transcending that of a Naturalist. Although he would seem a modern-day John James Audubon, Mylayne's art does not represent the ideal of a species or limit itself to exoticism. Instead, his subjects are ordinary birds, the commonest of species that inhabit our backyards and countrysides. Mylayne's unremarkable birds are made heroic only in his intensely beautiful compositions that imply the observer's relationship to the observed with a quiet dignity. His attention to the beautiful within the ordinary conjures an opening-up of the world of experiences, wondrously distilled in the photographic moment.

Mylayne's art is achieved ". . . through an intense contemplation which, without transfixing us with weighty insistence, has found a way to extract, from colorless banality, the infinitesimal details of nameless existences and give them a definable significance." (Didier Arnaudet)

Jean-Luc Mylayne was born in 1946 and lives in France. One-person exhibitions include the Photographers' Gallery, London; the ARC/Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris; the Boca Raton Museum of Art, Boca Raton, FL; the Musée d'Art Moderne, St. Etienne; the Bibliotèque Nationale, Paris; and the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Calais.