The postcard, both efficient and inexpensive, quickly established itself at the forefront of communication media from the end of the 19th century onwards. Originally, they were very much a craft - far from the logic of the tourist industry: always the same format (which hasn't changed that much), the front was reserved for a personal photograph, the back for news; something rather intimate and handmade.
In the 1930s, postcards became a reflection of holidays and paid vacations, bearing witness to a moment of happiness that had become a memory. Echoing a particular and uncommon experience, or, on the contrary, an ordinary and everyday one, showing a landscape and environment, the postcard never loses the kitsch dimension of azure blues and sunsets.
Very quickly, the news becomes secondary, the "flip side" of the postcard: the imaginary, the desires, the dreams are quickly consigned to the bottom of a drawer, accumulated and forgotten on the refrigerator door like hazy memories.
Straddling the line between the real and the fantastical, the postcard has quickly and easily penetrated the world of contemporary art. Artists have seized upon them, and thanks to them, the intimate becomes universal, and the commonplace - even the banal - becomes a singular work of art. The artist, through a simple gesture, line, hole, collage or other alteration, strips the postcard of its utilitarian character. It is no longer a souvenir or a news item, but an invitation to fantasize further, to play, to divert our society's obsession with "vulgarizing the wonders of Nature and Art" (Edmond Harancourt).
One thing is certain: the postcard remains a collector's item par excellence.
To coincide with PhotoSaintGermain, the gallery will be presenting an inventive selection of à la carte works from November 9 to December 23 at its 33 rue de Seine space, as many Greetings from as open windows on contemporary art, from Pilar Albarracín to On Kawara, from Julien Berthier to Marcelle Cahn, from Paul Kos to William Wegman, and more.
Opened in 1990 in the heart of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, Galerie Georges-Philippe & Nathalie Vallois has been able to bring together heritage and contemporary artists through large-scale exhibitions. The presentation of major works from New European Realism and American Hyperrealism alongside a vibrant contemporary artistic scene remains the hallmark of the gallery.