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In the Company of Stars - Gérard Uféras photo exhibit at Hermès

by Robert Abrams
June 7, 2007
The Gallery at Hermès
691 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10065
(212) 751-3181
June 7 to July 21, 2007
I visited the Gérard Uféras exhibit at Hermes this evening during the opening reception. Mr. Uféras spent a year photographing the Paris Opera Ballet. The pictures are exquisite. The book is sure to be wonderful too (check out www.rizzoliusa.com), but don't miss this opportunity to see the photos blown up to a size suitable for a large wall.

The photos are more than good individually, but by placing them together one can see how Mr. Uféras is a master of both journalistic photos that show the scene, and artistic photos that take one art and transform it into an equally beautiful but very different art. I especially liked the way he captured silhouettes in this regard. His use of color was exceptional as well.

I could go on but I would have to sit in front of each photo for an hour to do an in-depth formal analysis. Like the photo with three ballerinas seen in shadow so all you see is their circular tutus and raised legs, framed against three orange dots of light. This is a photo that simultaneously represents dance and achieves a pleasing abstraction. In the 40s and 50s people said photography wasn't art. Mr. Uféras proves them wrong.

There are photos of dance that make you say "That's nice." and then there are photos that intrigue you and draw you in, suggesting that you could view them over and over and still derive pleasure from them. Many of Mr. Uféras' photos are of the draw you in over and over type.

Again, don't miss this exhibit. And if you do miss it and love the ballet and photography, consider buying the book. You have to go to France to get it at the moment (not such a bad thing, that), but it will be available in the US in September 2007.
A dancer in the Paris Opera Ballet

A dancer in the Paris Opera Ballet

Photo © & courtesy of Gérard Uféras

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