Comments/Context: French photographer Pierre Gonnord's gargantuan photographic portraits vacillate between the openly traditional and freshly contemporary. Their massive scale comes with a nod to Chuck Close and their extreme detail is reminiscent of any number of contemporary photographers pushing the edges of technology. But their head and shoulders poses look back centuries, drifting out of a dark gloomy blackness, reminiscent of Old Masters paintings and their singular power to capture the essence of an individual. The pictures therefore represent an uneasy visual compromise, at once both imposing and intimate, confrontational and humble.
All in, I think the best of these Gonnord portraits hold the wall with authority, and will likely appeal most to the same slice of contemporary photo collectors who have gravitated toward the images of Bergman, Mikhailov, Grannan, Kerstens, Learoyd and others who have explored the intersection of the quietly marginal and the up close face.
Collector's POV: The works in the show are priced as follows. The monumental portraits are either $21750, $23750, $26700, or $29750, based on size and place in the edition. The large scale color fires/explosions are either $29700, $32700, or $34200, based on place in the edition. Gonnord's work has very little secondary market history, so gallery retail is likely the only option for interested collectors at this point.
Pierre Gonnord, Relatos
Through February 4th
Hasted Kraeutler Gallery
537 West 24th Street
New York, NY 10011