Charles Freger - Photographs London Wednesday, November 2, 2011 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Private Collection, UK

  • Literature

    Charles Fréger: Portraits photographiques et uniformes, exh. cat., MUDAM, Luxembourg, 2006, p. 14

  • Catalogue Essay

    “Born in 1975 and graduate of the Rouen School of Fine Art since 2000, Charles Fréger has already been interested for a number of years now in the notion of series of photographic portraits. Social groups, collective structures or communities, work groups or concerted action groups are among his chosen subjects. Even if the organisation of the portraits remains consistent (full frontal, neutral lighting, an impersonal or suggestive background chosen on site, colour prints all of the same format), the accent is placed upon everything which translates the notion of belonging to a group, in particular that of the adolescents whom at the same time provoke and enhance the adherence to a shared identity, to a social “skin” according to which they refer to and recognise themselves.” (POC European network for Contemporary Images) Capturing groups of people from all areas of the social spectrum – from Japanese sumo wrestlers to Swiss Guards, Orangemen to synchronised skaters, Charles Fréger’s project Portraits Photographiques et Uniformes demonstrates his fascination with the construct of the group. As seen in the current lot, his work is as much anthropological study as it is work of art, drawing upon historical traditions of structure and classification, and highlighting the human need to belong. Shot with deadpan uniformity, the youths in Water Polo Players exhibit the perhaps particularly adolescent desire to identify oneself as part of a specific community and yet, at the same time, Fréger’s decision to avoid the archetypal ‘group shot’ in favour of separate portraits casts light on the unique traits of the individuals. Fresh from the pool, droplets of water still present on their skin, he momentarily separates the players from comfort zone of their team and, in doing so, offers a tantalising glimpse into the human differences at work beyond the homogeneity of the social collective.


Water Polo Players

Twelve colour coupler prints, printed 2005 and each flush-mounted.
Each image: 76.3 x 57.9 cm (30 x 22 3/4 in); overall approximately 312.5 x 344 cm (123 x 135 3/8 in).
Each signed in ink, printed title, date and number on a label affixed to the reverse of the frame. One from an edition of 5.

£7,000 - 9,000 ♠ †

Sold for £8,750


3 November 2011