Castella, Le Havre I

As part of the exhibition "Voyages pittoresques. Normandie 1820–2009" presented in three instalments at the museums of Rouen, Le Havre and Caen in 2009, Vincenzo Castella was invited to photograph the three cities. His bird's-eye views provide a highly detailed observation of the urban fabric, further heightened by the use of a very large-format view camera. Positioning himself from high above, Castella scans lines and structures, organizes their disorder or disrupts their overly regular lines. His intent is not to provide any inventory of these cities, but rather use the image to capture the feeling they inspire in him.

The two views of Le Havre were taken from the 17th floor of city hall, looking south and to the harbour area. It is like a diptych that reunites the two slightly interrupted views of the landscape. The gaze plunges down on the square of city hall surrounded by the first ISAI buildings (Immeubles sans affectation individuelle) designed by post-war reconstruction architect Auguste Perret in 1947. The viewpoint highlights the urban structure, a genuine source of fascination for the artist, who was surprised by the extremely classical nature of it.
This acquisition is paired with another photograph, Le Havre II, which was a gift from the artist.

Works acquired in 2010 (7)

Rut Blees LUXEMBURG (1967), Schlachthof / Slaughterhouse, Le Havre, 2008, colour photography, C-print, 155 x 200 cm. © MuMa Le Havre / Rut Blees Luxemburg © Adagp, Paris
Xavier ZIMMERMANN (1966), CC07, 2009, photograph printed on a plotter, 118 x 148 cm. © MuMa Le Havre / Xavier Zimmermann
Pierre CRETON (1966), Papa, Maman, Perret and Me (an apartment as witness), 2009, photogram (video). © MuMa Le Havre / Pierre Creton
Vincenzo CASTELLA (1952), Le Havre I, 2008, C-print, 180 x 225 cm. © MuMa Le Havre / Vincenzo Castella
Gabriele BASILICO (1944-2013), The Volcan from Place Général De Gaulle, 1984, black and white photography, 50 x 60 cm. © MuMa Le Havre / Gabriele Basilico
Thibaut CUISSET (1958-2017), Roncherolles-en-Bray, 2006-2009, , 92 x 125 cm. © MuMa Le Havre / Thibault Cuisset
Corinne MERCADIER (1955), Lunar Square III, “Longue distance” series, 2005, digital prints on barite paper, 70 x 120 cm. © Corinne Mercadier