Elene Usdin, Les Habitants

21 Jun 2017 – 13 Jul 2017

Event times

Tuesday - Saturday, 2 - 6 pm

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Galerie Esther Woerdehoff

Île-de-France, France


Travel Information

  • Falguiere (line 12), Pasteur (line 6, 12)
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"June night! And Seventeen! – You get tipsy. The sap’s champagne and blurs every feature... You wander: you feel a kiss on your lips
That quivers there, like some tiny creature..."
Arthur Rimbaud, Romance, in Poetries translated by A.S. Kline


Wednesday June 21st 2017, from 6pm to 9pm:
Opening reception and acoustic concert by LES ARGONAUTS 

Elene Usdin is proving that she is not only an excellent photographer, but that she can also handle the brush like the great classical masters. Last autumn at Paris Photo, the French artist exhibited in exclusivity some of her newly fresh and unique pieces from her latest series, Les Habitants (The Inhabitants). Starting with the timeless genre of portrait, Elene Usdin then disrupts it by directly painting on the photographic print. And she paints the emotions, hidden behind the calm look of her teenage models. The artist also questions a certain idea of photography (almost a cliché) which defines a photograph by its reproducibility. With the previous series Femmes d’intérieur, exhibited at the Galerie Esther Woerdehoff in 2015, she already highlighted her photographs with paint to create originals. Once again, her photographs from Les Habitants have become unique pieces, but the gap is made even greater between the brief moment of the shooting and the timeless hours that Elene Usdin needs afterwards, paintbrush in hand, to ornate meticulously each portrait with a multitude of marvelous figures. 

Born in 1971, Elene Usdin graduated from the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Arts Decoratifs of Paris in 1996. Working first as an illustrator and a set decorator for cinema, she regularly publishes her illustrations in newspapers and magazines. Visual artist, illustrator and photographer, she develops since 2002 an artistic body of work with precision and lightness and a great delicacy. Women are the favorite subject of her series, with an approach that plays with genre and stereotypes. Elene Usdin does not hesitate to put herself on stage, in self-portraits between derision, tribute to the great female figures of the history or inspiration found in fairy tales. Rewarded in 2006 by the Picto Prize for Young Fashion Photography and in 2008 by the International Photo Awards, her first monograph, Stories, was published in 2013 by editions Contrejour. In 2014, the Museum of New Art in Detroit showed a large retrospective exhibition of her work: Awake While I Am Dreaming. Her latest series, Les Habitants, combines portraits of teenagers and homage to the great masters of painting resulting in unique and spectacular painted photographs. Wednesday June 21st 2017, from 6pm to 9pm: Opening reception and acoustic concert by LES ARGONAUTS 


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