Roger Catherineau


PRESS RELEASE: Roger Catherineau, Dec 14, 2007 - Feb 16, 2008

Roger Catherineau
Dec 14, 2007 – Feb 16, 2008

Gitterman Gallery is proud to present an exhibition of vintage photographs from the late 1940s to the early 1960s by French photographer Roger Catherineau (1925-1962).  The exhibition will open on Thursday, December 13th from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.and continue through Saturday, February 16th.

Born in 1925 in Tours, France, and educated in the mediums of painting and drawing, as well as photography, Roger Catherineau championed photographic expressionism.  Catherineau created photographs and photograms concurrent with the development of Abstract Expressionism, yet with his premature death in 1962, his innovative body of work and his career had gone largely unnoticed until its rediscovery by the historian Christian Bouqueret in the early 1990s.

Catherineau received inspiration and encouragement from the renowned German photographer and teacher Otto Steinert, who was the founder of the Fotoform movement of postwar German photographers.  Steinert included him in the 1954-55 exhibition and book Subjektive Fotografie 2. Catherineau and Steinert were less concerned with objective representation and more interested in subjective interpretation and abstraction.

Early in his career, Catherineau enjoyed abstracting his subjects, typically landscapes, nudes and portraits, by heightening their contrast and creating double exposures.  Ultimately, Catherineau found photograms to be most suitable for his artistic goals.  He aimed to establish depth in each image and move beyond two dimensional representation.  It is thought that he employed unusual techniques, such as layering paint and ink on glass.  He was specific about his expression and destroyed any works he deemed unsuccessful.  The act of creation and craftsmanship were primary to Catherineau; he often used darkroom techniques, such as solarization, toning and chemical manipulation.  His belief that artists and viewers should question the objectivity of photography and embrace the imaginary remains relevant today.