• Nathalie Boutté's (French, b. 1967) handmade collages embrace photography, sculpture, print-making and painting. Using a meticulous cutting and pasting process,...
    Nina Sniper, 2019

     

    Nathalie Boutté's (French, b. 1967) handmade collages embrace photography, sculpture, print-making and painting. Using a meticulous cutting and pasting process, and paper of all types, including vintage books, road maps, canceled bank notes, and Japanese paper, the artist creates mesmerizing re-interpretations of historic photographs. While appropriation is an essential part of Boutté's work, the artist veers from her source material, breaking down and building back up the original image and its traditional interpretation.

     

    Portraits of African-Americans taken in the late 19th century by American photographer Rufus W. Holsinger are the inspiration of Boutté's most recent body of work, Way Down South. In his studio, Holsinger photographed more than 500 African Americans as part of a broader project documenting life in Charlottesville, Virginia.  In Boutté's recreations in collage, carefully selected images are reinvented to emphasize each subjects' powerful presence and individuality.

  • Select Works

    • Fannie Dowell, 2019
      Fannie Dowell, 2019
    • Golden Coles, 2019
      Golden Coles, 2019
  • Boutté “…selects traces and fragments of these anonymous persons whom carry within them a piece of the collective history. These portraits pay homage to the resilience of the African-American community and their unity in the struggle against racial oppression. The collection of photographs holds a sentimental value for the families it depicts. It is equally important for its historical value, as a record of this region. Nathalie Boutté makes us look with new eyes on the foundation of identity.”

     

    -From the catalogue Nathalie Boutté: Way Down South

    Exhibition Catalogue
    • Marshall Mayo, 2018
      Marshall Mayo, 2018
    • Leslie Baykin, 2019
      Leslie Baykin, 2019
    • Orbrey Stark, 2018
      Orbrey Stark, 2018
  • Orbrey Stark, Marshall Mayo and Leslie Baykin  are presented in a three-quarter length portrait with the subjects isolated in the foreground, making them appear to come forward and meet the viewer. The nuances that appear while you move further away from the work are obtained through the variations in the ink color of the printed text, which remains identical on every strip.

     

    • M. Mme Cooper, 2019
      M. Mme Cooper, 2019
    • Edwin Jefferson, 2019
      Edwin Jefferson, 2019
  • Isaac Caldwell and John Cosby are revealed in sepia tone. … Nathalie Boutté appropriates the aesthetic of the photographic archive,...
    Isaac Caldwell, 2019

    Isaac Caldwell and John Cosby are revealed in sepia tone. … Nathalie Boutté appropriates the aesthetic of the photographic archive, reproducing the accidents that occur in the printing process and the metallic quality of silver nitrate used to sensitize the glass plates.

  • “WEH DOWN SOUF IS A BEAUTIFUL POEM SANG AS A GOSPEL HYMN. I LIKE TO THINK THAT THOSE, TO WHOM...
    Emmet T. Whitney, 2019

     

    “WEH DOWN SOUF IS A BEAUTIFUL POEM SANG AS A GOSPEL HYMN. I LIKE TO THINK THAT THOSE, TO WHOM I’VE PAID HOMAGE HERE, ONCE SANG IT. THEIR VOICES ACCOMPANY ME IN THIS TRAVEL TOWARD THE SOUTH.”

    - NATHALIE BOUTTÉ

    • Burnett Watson, 2019
      Burnett Watson, 2019
    • John Cosby, 2019
  • The method by which Holsinger made most of his photographs was an extremely cumbersome process known as the wet plate...
    Ellie Thomson, 2019

    The method by which Holsinger made most of his photographs was an extremely cumbersome process known as the wet plate method. He began with an ordinary plate of glass usually eight to 10 inches in size ... Under conditions of extremely low light illumination, he spread onto the plate a mixture containing potassium iodine called "collodion." After this, he dipped the plate into a solution of one part silver nitrate to twelve parts water. The plate stayed in this solution for approximately six to eight minutes after which into a light tight negative carrier. Then while the negative was still wet, the plate was put into the camera and the negative exposed ... Once the wet plate had been made, a new challenge awaited him when he actually took the picture. To begin with, the bulkiness of the camera that could accommodate an eight by ten inch negative was considerable, and the system by which the subject was viewed was confusing, for the image that was seen through the lens of the camera was upside-down and backwards.

  • Nathalie Boutté’s works on paper have been presented in exhibitions at the Domaine de Chamarande, France; Institut d’Art Contemporain, Villeurbanne, France; Centre photographique - Pôle Image Haute-Normandie, Rouen, France and Museum Rijswijk, The Netherlands, among numerous others, and toured across the United States in the 2018-2019 show Cut Up/Cut Out. Boutté is the 2012 recipient of the Kristal Prize from the Salon de Montrouge, France. The artist was born in 1967 in Senlis, France and currently lives in Montreuil, France.