Tribute to Thibaut Cuisset (1958 – 2017)

Thibaut_Cuisset_LozèreWe learned with great sadness that Thibaut Cuisset died from cancer on January 19.

Master and figure of landscape photography, Thibaut Cuisset was last year winner of the Residency Prize of Photography of the Fondation des Treilles.

During his residency, Thibaut carried out his project as he had meant to :  “work on the Mediterranean landscape of France and, more precisely, on the idea of ​​the hinterland with the persistence of a rural world, maybe even pastoral, in Provence, in the departments of Var, Alpes-Maritimes and Alpes-de-Haute-Provence … By evoking the forest, the mountains, and the peri-urban countryside with their zones of friction.”

Last July, Thibaut showed me the work prints stemming from his stay at the Foundation. More than fifty prints, among which we already knew that it would have been  difficult to choose. Images as always in perfect balance between the documentary investigation and the aesthetic research. Thibaut knew how to render the landscapes with a grace and a poetry impossible to mistake. Despite his proverbial discretion, his special way of looking at the world runs through all his work. A vision that has not only enriched the history of photography, but also influenced our way of seeing the scenery.

In the catalog of an exhibition, gathering paintings of nature and photographs in 2001, Laurent Martin wrote: “I often visit Thibaut Cuisset in his studio. His pictures are stored there as canvases and, for the visitor, he reveals them, looks at them; he appreciates the comments but does not say anything himself. The contrast is striking between this silent reserve and the brightness of what is offered to our eyes. But in his turn, the visitor will find hard to tell what he saw, because Thibaut Cuisset’s photographs describe nothing, tell nothing … but the art of seeing. Also, it will be very difficult to associate the landscapes of this exhibition with a dramatic feeling: Melancholy? Tranquility? Anguish? Peace? (…) All these photographs display an obstinate refusal of the spectacular, in the subject as in the framing or the contrasts, and this bareness forces the gaze towards the detail.”*

All of our thoughts and condolences go to his family and loved ones.

Laura Serani, President of the Jury of the Photography Prize


* Francesco Colacicchi, Paysages. Peintures. Thibaut Cuisset, En plein midi. Photographies
Textes Giorgio Bonsanti et Laurent Martin. Coffret, édition Galeries photos Fnac. 2001

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