27 October 2017 -
24 February 2018

L'Eau, la Couleur et les Songes

Jean-Martin Barbut, Yves Charnay and Roland Roure

L'Eau, la Couleur et les Songes

Commissioned by the Tour des Cardinaux

The wisdom and insight of philosopher Gaston Bachelard were unexpectedly called upon to give  structure to a collaboration between photographer Jean Martin Barbut, painter Yves Charnat and sculptor Roland Roure.

So many details are concentrated in Jean Martin Barbut’s photographs that each shot possesses a paint-like quality. His secret lies not only in his camera of choice, a Phase One equipped with a very large lens, but also in the photo edits that reveal both the dazzling fullness of the wave and the micro-movements of the droplets of which it is composed.

Barbut’s work reveals to us photographically what the naked eye does not see but our subconscious perceives; a unique strength made up of a multitude of tiny fragments, drops, foams and eddies, which for several centuries could be expressed only by the painters whose attentive observation of the waves allowed them to capture the essence of this power. The result is a figurative work from which one can extract abstract scenes of dizzying proportions.


Yves Chanay’s ability to master and tame colour through painting, engraving, lithography, and light is a rare skill. Charnay reveals volumes through his colour play; he illustrates the force of the complementary elements of the colour wheel, experiments and innovates, and ultimately demonstrates the interplay of the shadows and reflections that reveal colours. 

In his mobile and aerial sculptures, Roland Roure portrays his universe through images of the sea, maternity, and romantic seduction. It is usually through the manipulation of a rectangle of sheet metal, used in its entirety, that he brings his sculptures to life, before they intertwine, sway, or sometimes even dance. 

The work of these three artists straddles the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, and expresses with passion, generosity and talent their ‘intuitive clarity’ made up of water, colour and dreams, respectively.