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Pierre-Olivier Arnaud, Untitled (abstract), 2013, silk screen on paper, 68 7/8 x 47 1/4". Skopia.

Pierre-Olivier Arnaud

Musée d'Art Moderne et Contemporain

Pierre-Olivier Arnaud, Untitled (abstract), 2013, silk screen on paper, 68 7/8 x 47 1/4". Skopia.

Close-up photographs of lush blossoms—flowers at their most seductive—were a highlight of Pierre-Olivier Arnaud’s recent show at Skopia. And yet this seductiveness seemed to come at us from a distance, muted by the photographic medium itself. Although the size of the prints—many are quite large—gives them a real presence, they have an almost faded, washed-out look to them, like afterimages asserting a merely transient effect on our retinas or as if we had glimpsed the blossoms by the light of long-extinguished galaxies in the night sky. A reduction of all contrasts turned surfaces and lines into grayscale patterns that are difficult to distinguish. Their backgrounds are almost entirely blocked out and are only vaguely reminiscent of the photographic process of light transfer that created them. The French artist’s pictures are thus halfway between photographs

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