If my intermittent obsession with photomurals, and especially with the actual prints themselves, overlooked objects with a presence and character that feels now like a visual and experiential precursor to the monumental painting and photography of the contemporary era, has jumpstarted any interest in the market for these things, they haven’t heard about it in France.
On Monday, Artcurial included this 1964 “monumentale photographie” by Jean-Régis ROUSTAN, a 1.3 x 2.3 meter silver gelatin print of an abstracted wall of dented cans, in its books & manuscripts sale. But it failed to reach even its low low estimate.
LOT 483 Jean-Régis ROUSTAN Monumentale photographie, 1964 1,30 x 2,30 m, tirage argentique sur papier. Encadrement baquette aluminium. Nature morte de boites de conserves cabossées.
Estimation : 700 – 1000 €
Tirage unique, offert à l’époque par l’artiste à l’actuel propriétaire. L’agrandissement monumental des boites entraine une abstraction. Légères taches.
Maybe it’s because Roustan was more photojournalist than artist? And though the lot before it went unsold, a set of six vintage prints of 1964 artist portraits by Roustan did sell for EUR829 last December. Duchamp, Calder, Ernst, Dali, Chagall…
But this is still a giant, beautiful, vintage object. I remain confused and convinced, if as-yet unmoved to schlep an 8-foot framed photo by a guy I confess, I hadn’t heard of until last week, over from Paris.