Jean Vérame

Born in 1936 in Ghent (BE)
Lives and works in Paris (FR)

Sans titre

Colour photograph, cibachrome
87 x 130 cm
Year of Purchase: 1985

Since 1976, a large part of Jean Vérame’s work has taken place in the rocky wastes of uninhabited deserts in Egypt, Morocco and Chad… Situated on the very edges of the inhabited world, his work appears above all, to the public eye, by way of photography and video. Compared with the works of other Land Art representatives such as Richard Long, Robert Smithson and Andy Goldsworthy, Vérame’s work surprises firstly by the device of its saturated colours (blue, purple, pink) forming an extremely violent contrast with the natural hues of the mineral landscape which act as the backdrop. The four photographs thoroughly recreate the spectacular and seductive aspect of these cyclopean colour schemes. These pieces are at once works (because they contain their own visual quality) and traces: the evidence of an in situ action. As far as the maquette is concerned, although its palette and theme are very close to those of the landscapes painted, it stems from another praxis adopted by Vérame, the praxis of studio works, which the artist—who is a painter, sculptor and glazier—is far from adverse to. The decorative dimension of the overall projects is not totally devoid of political and ethical concerns. The artist celebrates peace and freedom (referring to Hissène Habré’s victory against Qaddafi in the Tibesti Mountains in 1987, for example). His work also tries to capture ‘the natural vibration of the cosmos’ and ‘something which is the virtual wealth of every human being’.

Olivier Goetz