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Born in 1989.
Lives and works in Rouen

Using landscape images (vegetation, mountains, sky, etc.), Marc-Antoine Garnier sets out to show the materiality of the image through various manipulations of the photographic medium (rolled paper, folding, crumpling, cutting, punching, blurring, etc.), in an attempt to establish a dialogue between content and form.

Artwork above: Colonnes, 2021. Set of rolled photographs. 110 x 65 cm.

La cime.jpg

Among other developments, photography in the 2010s was marked by the materialization and spatialization of the image. Challenging the pictorial model of the picture on the wall, this research intersected photography with sculpture, installation and architecture.


Lucy Soutter called it "expanded photography" and Michel Poivert "photographie amplifiée". Marc-Antoine Garnier, who trained at the Rouen School of Fine Arts at the beginning of the decade, follows this dynamic, but overcomes the sometimes unresolved conflict between image and object, reaffirming the iconic power of representation. In his eyes, photography is valuable for its indexical relationship to reality, space and time, even if he feels, in his own words, the need to "deconstruct" and "reconstruct" it to offer a more complete experience of the world.


In his early days, Marc-Antoine Garnier photographed industrial buildings or found objects, such as those featured in the Photosculptures grid (2015), commissioned for the Normandy town of Grand-Quevilly. Then, following a path opened up by his work on the Nisyros (2013) and Kardamena (2016) landscapes, but breaking all ties with a given, identifiable territory, he turned to the sky, the sea, rocks and vegetation. His interest thus seems to have shifted from an anthropology of the traces left by man on the planet - ruins to come, scraps, waste, etc. - to a metaphysics of his own. - to the metaphysics of his place - minimal, relative - in the world. Although the human figure is always absent from the images, it remains in the background. The human figure is present in the artist's preferred portrait format, meaning "portrait", whereas the conventional treatment of his motifs would call for the horizontality of the "landscape" format. The human is thus the unexpected prism through which to enter these photographs, which seem to contest its existence.

The sky is the subject of many of Marc-Antoine Garnier's recent works. Some take clouds as their subject, in a renewed relationship with the photographic tradition opened in the 1920s-1930s by Alfred Stieglitz, whose Equivalents had the value of emotions. Others turn the sky into abstractions, fragmenting it and exploiting its lights, colors and gradations. The artist uses a digital camera that eliminates all interference and guarantees a smooth, transparent image.


Although he refuses to crop them, Marc-Antoine Garnier rarely leaves his photographs untouched. His interventions are varied. The rarest are those involving the image itself. These are digital manipulations, as in La Cime (2020), a view of the rocks, which he turned into a negative using a simple Photoshop operation. The most numerous are prints, inkjet impressions on thick paper. One is circular cutting or punching, enabling Marc-Antoine Garnier to create details that he then glues back onto a white background, either partially and sparsely in L'Heure bleue 1, or systematically and regularly in the series Le Détail (2020-2021), a set of 40 x 28 cm photographs each composed of 2106 dots. Above all, as an extension of the Pliages series (2017), this research into the medium has spatial developments.

They follow two apparently contradictory paths, both of which, despite the quasi-industrial finish of their creations, only involve manual and artisanal processes that the artist never delegates and leaves visible. he first is mimetic: the volumetry of the photographic object follows the forms of its subject. Le grand Nuage (2019) unfurls on bounced volumes, while irregular folds give relief to the close-ups of rocks and waves in the diptych combining La Sensibilité des pierres and La Douceur de l'eau (2021). The other approach, with its emphasis on geometrisation, tends towards abstraction. While Les Colonnes (2021) are cylinders of simple rolled photographs whose colors and cloudy streaks evoke marble and its veins, Crépuscule is made up of ten bars measuring 120 x 6 x 6 cm, each wrapped in a print. Finally, Clair-obscur is a photograph of a cloud with regular, parallel folds. This work shows how the two paths are more porous than contradictory. For, despite the geometry of the intervention, the folds evoke the rays of the setting sun filtered through the cloud.

Marc-Antoine Garnier's practice seems paradoxical. Despite their subjects, which may evoke stereotypical iconography, his photographs do not extend reflections on the banality or kitsch of the "model-image". The artist is not a critic of representation. On the contrary, he believes in the photographic act and image, claims their descriptive and poetic value, and assumes the beauty of his images. And yet, this confidence in the medium seems to be accompanied, at the same time, by a clear awareness of its limitations. These relate to the experience of the image. For Marc-Antoine Garnier, it would be simplistic to see the viewer only as a disembodied eye, and the perception of the work only as a matter of optics.

The artist, in fact, likes to set traps for the gaze. The hollowing-out of the Details obtained by punching, the title and the negativization of La Cime, which is not the view of a mountain range tilted at 90°, but a close-up of rocks taken from beneath the earth, make it clear that apprehending Marc-Antoine Garnier's works is a complex experience. It's also a complete experience that engages the viewer's entire body.


The photographs step out of the frame, detaching themselves from the wall to share the space in which they move. L'Eau et les rêves (2019) is composed of two views, one vertical, of a sky, the other horizontal, of a sea, which meet at the corner of the wall; the volumes of Nuage and Crépuscule, meanwhile, are simply placed against it. If the viewer is standing in front of these works, he or she must turn around Clair-obscur, a cloud that has slid to the ground on a base made of criss-crossing slats, and move between the Columns, which, at 1.10 m high, are not intended to be monumental but human in scale. It is indeed the viewer's movements that activate the interweaving of the image, its reliefs and its volumes.

With Marc-Antoine Garnier, amplified photography above all amplifies reality.

Étienne Hatt, art critic and curator, associate chief editor of artpress

Artwork above: La Cime, 2020. Pigment print on 310g Etching paper, laminated with 1mm anodized aluminum. Oak frame. 120 x 81 cm


Né en 1989.
Vit et travaille à Rouen. 

Avant la nuit, Artothèque ESADHaR, Le Havre, France
Vanishing Point, Galerie Bacqueville Lille, France

a ppr oc he Paris, le Molière, Paris, France
Le Temps des fleurs, Jardin des plantes, Rouen, France
L’ombre des jours, Frac Grand Large-Hauts-de-France, Dunkerque, France

La borne, Le Poctb, Châteaudun, France
La Douceur des pierres, Le Concept, Ecole d’Art du Calaisis, Calais, France
Par instants, EMA Boulogne-sur-Mer, Boulogne-sur-Mer, France
Soleils couchants, Maison des Arts, Grand-Quevilly, France

Au-delà de l’image, L’Atelier Blanc, Villefranche-de-Rouergue, France

L’Heure bleue, Le Hall, Rouen, France

Perception(s), Chapelle Saint Julien, Petit-Quevilly, France

Art Paris, Galerie Bacqueville, Grand Palais Ephémère, Paris, France
Le parapluie rouge s’ouvrira trois fois, Le SHED - L’Académie, Maromme, France
Over the Line, Galerie Bacqueville - Pays-Bas, Vlissingen, Pays-Bas
Art Rotterdam, Galerie Bacqueville, Van Nelleweg, Rotterdam, Pays-Bas

De Visu, Abbaye de Jumièges, Jumièges, France
Plein soleil, Pavillon des transitions, Rouen, France
Isolario, La Civette / Le Hall, Rouen, France
Dystopia, Galerie Bacqueville, Lille, France

Arterritoire, l’Estrade, Athis-Val-de-Rouvre, France
Deux scénarios pour Une collection, Frac Normandie Rouen, France

Parangonnage, Collectif d’en face, Rouen, France

De Visu, L’Académie, Maromme, France
9e Prix Jeune Création, Moulin des Arts, Saint-Rémy, France
Sans Interdit, DRAC Normandie, Rouen, France

De Visu, Abbaye aux Dames, Caen, France
FLAC#2, Le Hall, Rouen, France

Le Plaisir est partagé, Maison des Arts, Grand-Quevilly, France
La Nature et moi, Villa Zuiun-an, Nishieda Foundation, Kyoto, Japon
Tatsuno Art Sketch, Galleria, Tatsuno, Japon
Tatsuno Art Project, Bureau du Département du Hyogo, Paris, France
Vestige, Le Hall, Rouen, France

1. certains regards, Tezukayama Gallery, Osaka, Japon

Tatsuno Art Project - Arts and Memories, Bureau du Département du Hyogo, Paris, France
Lieux de mémoire/Mémoire des lieux, Maison des Arts, Grand-Quevilly, France

UFULab, Grandes Galeries, ESADHaR, Rouen, France
Ce qui reste, Grandes Galeries, ESADHaR, Rouen, France
Working Hard, MAM Galerie, Rouen, France
Vases Communicants, Jardin des plantes, Rouen, France
Ubi labo, Le 20 rue Alsace Lorraine, Rouen, France

Tatsuno Art Project, Tatsuno-shi, Japon
C’est levant les yeux que l’on voit la mer, Office du tourisme, Le Havre, France
Entrée libre #3, quartiers Beauvoisine/St Nicaise, Rouen, France
Ma maison, MAM Galerie, Rouen, France

Fenêtre sur rue, Ecole Supérieure d’Art et de Design de Reims, Reims, France
Pièce(s) à vivre, MAM Galerie, Rouen, France
Fenêtre sur rue, Ecole Supérieure d’Art et Design Le Havre-Rouen, Rouen, France

REISE, Ecole Supérieure d’Art et Design Le Havre-Rouen, Rouen, France


Les nuits Normandie Impressionniste, Rouen, France

Nuit Blanche Kyoto, Kyoto, Japon
Art Sequana, Rouen, France

Allocation d’installation d’atelier, DRAC Normandie
Aide aux expositions, Région Normandie

Résidence O.R.A.G.E, Le Hall, Rouen, France

Résidence Archipel, FRAC Grand Large - Hauts-de-France
Résidence, l’estrade, Athis-Val-de-Rouvre, France

Aide à la Création - Région Normandie

Aide Individuelle à la création - DRAC Normandie

Bourse Impulsion de la ville de Rouen
Chapelle Saint Julien, Petit-Quevilly, France

Maison des Arts, Grand-Quevilly, France

Tatsuno Art Project, Tatsuno-shi, Japon

Centre d’Etude des Arts Contemporains, Université de Lille, France
FRAC Picardie, Amiens, France

Maison des Arts de Grand-Quevilly, France

Centre d’Arts plastiques et visuels, Lille, France
Le Concept, Ecole d’Art du Calaisis, Calais, France
Ecole d’arts plastiques, Denain, France

Artothèque de Grand-Quevilly

FRAC Normandie Rouen

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