Galerie Michèle Chomette

The photographs of Christine Felten and Véronique Massinger call to mind John Berger’s dictum that the relation between what we see and what we know is never settled. At first glance, the large-format landscapes and cityscapes the two artists have been making for the past fifteen years in and around their native Belgium recall seventeenth-century Dutch paintings with their panoramic views, low horizons, and cold light, not to mention a strangely varnishlike cast to the colors. At second glance, traces of the present emerge as well, from highways and electrical wires crisscrossing the countryside to urban high-rises and billboards or the occasional parked car. And at third glance, a certain number of curious absences—and presences—manifest themselves: There are no apparent light sources, no cast shadows, no clouds, no atmospheric perspective, but from time to time a cometlike trail of

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