François Halard: Architecture on View at Demisch Danant NY, 2/1

Demisch Danant pleased to announce the exhibition François Halard: Architecture, featuring photographs spanning 20 years of the career of the much-admired French-born photographer. On view from February 1 to March 1, 2014, the show presents Halard's often dreamlike "portraits" of landmark architecture and interiors created by some of the most significant designers of the 20th century. Among the works on view will be many that have never before been published or exhibited, including more than 40 Polaroid photographs - intimate vignettes redolent of the rarified sites in which they were made.

Born in Paris in 1961 to two highly respected interior designers, Franc?ois Halard is known for an acute sensitivity to materials and interior details, shaped by lifelong exposure to haute design. His prolific career as a magazine photographer has provided the public access to extraordinary locations that would otherwise have been impossible to experience, and has produced seductive images that reveal his privileged encounters with some of Modernism's greatest tastemakers. Halard's work is rich with intimate, deceptively casual views that touch on themes of memory, history, and high art, and convey his own quiet awe in the presence of distinguished spaces.

Among works on view at Demisch Danant are photographs of Albert Frey's House in Palm Springs, where the dramatic desert landscape is literally integrated into interiors. Halard's images of this storied house frame views in such a way as to bring the materials of the built environment and the natural surroundings into dialogue - rock, steel, and cement merge in photographs that create a conversation between Halard's present and Frey's past.

Designed in the mid-1920s for art collectors Charles and Marie Laure de Noailles, the Villa Noaillesis Robert Mallet-Stevens' masterpiece. Halard's portrait of the Villa captures its complicated story in a haunting view of the empty indoor swimming pool, which crumbles in the wake of decades of neglect. Once a marvel of early Modern elegance, the Villa's ruined interior evokes the mutable and contingent truth beneath architecture's seeming permanence. As with much of Halard's work, his portrait of the Villa Noailles is a pensive reflection on mortality, the passage of time, and the fragility of temporal beauty.

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by Barry Kostrinsky