‘L’homme est partout’

21 November 2015 to 29 May 2016
Fundació Stämpfli – Art Contemporani

Portraits, objects, landscapes, nature scenes, bodies… Peter Knapp’s photography takes in different styles and disciplines, characterized by their expressivity. Peter Knapp’s work is on display in the foundation’s rooms 2 & 3, while room 1 presents a selection from the general collection. The exhibition is coordinated by Ferran Martínez Sancho.

Room 2
Three series are on display in the ground floor room: the first, Great makeup, is formal in nature; the other two, The color of skin and Compound families address highly topical social issues: in one, racism, and in the other, the non-traditional composition of many present day families. 

Fashion photography is always a beautiful, attractive, but totally idealized image. For the photographer, it means facing a ton of limitations. Drawing on the negative of the model’s photographs, the artist breaks away from these limitations and adds a new makeup that changes and redirects the meaning of the root photographic image.

In the city of Cergy Pontoise, 30 kilometers from Paris, the population is highly mixed, with skin colors going from black to white, and including all of the intermediate subtleties. A digital reading of skin color gives us a figure corresponding to a Pantone number, the international color chart used by all designers. 

The discussion and the manifestations revolving around marriage, divorce, homosexuality and recomposed families have caused great media debates on the nature of the present day family. The images correspond to a series of recomposed families with an object of their choice that characterizes them. There is nothing that seems to distinguish them from traditional families.

Room 3
Presented in this room is a short summary of the artist’s career. It began in the 60s and 70s, when he shaped his prestige as a fashion photographer, the artistic director for Elle magazine and a close collaborator with the most important fashion designers, like Courrèges or Valentino.

Later on, he embarked on an important conceptual artistic career. Peter Knapp offers us a personal way of looking at the world as evidenced by series like L’homme est partout, Il fait beau and Vol París-Zuric, which are featured prominently at the exhibition.

Room 1 (selection by Serge Lemoine)
The Stämpfli Foundation’s collection of art works brings together many different forms of expression, trends and styles, appearing in Europe as of 1960. One of the main currents represented in it is non-realistic figurative painting, often with a strong critical content, that emerged in France starting in the second half of the decade of the sixties under the name Narrative Figuration. This trend, born concurrently with American pop art, brought together in Paris artists from Spain, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Argentina, Iceland and France. The French capital was a cosmopolitan city that continued to be the art capital par excellence, both for working and exhibiting.

From among these artists, presented in this room are the opposing universes with a well-established message by Peter Klasen and Antonio Segui, Erró’s image-filed collage and works by Peter Stämpfli himself, glorifying the simple forms of reality as conceived by advertising (Rouge baiser) and the industrial world with concrete products, like the tire, essential to the development and practice of driving. 

Sabro num. 2, with its breathtaking size, and two large format charcoal drawings are the three works by Peter Stämpfli that have enriched the Foundation’s collection in 2014.