André Villers

affiche film andré villers



SAMEDI 3 OCTOBRE A 20H30 – Rescheduled / reporté

Exposition prolongée
logo atelier andré villers
« De Lames et de Lumières »
Galerie Beddington août 2020

Au cours d’une carrière créatrice longue de 64 années, André Villers aura eu l’occasion d’explorer et de se confronter dans son œuvre plastique à de multiples médiums artistiques.

L’atelier André Villers est heureux de collaborer avec la Galerie Beddington, en présentant des sélections de trois séries d’œuvres tardives allant de 1995 à 2016 . Premièrement, de la série des Photo-collages où il se plaisait découper, combiner, composer et recréer à l’intérieur de son univers Manet, Rembrandt, Van Gogh et bien d’autres maîtres anciens dans ses œuvres photographiques. Ces photo-collages étaient également un moyen pour l’artiste de continuer en solo le dialogue inattendu et singulier avec Picasso dans leurs œuvres communes débuté dans les années 50.

Plus tard, André Villers se mettra, conjointement à d’autres travaux, à réaliser la série des purs Découpages Papiers ; ceci pendant une vingtaine d’années, avant de s’attaquer à son chant du cygne, la série Ultimes Digitals (2014-2016) où la pratique du découpage et de la photographie se trouveront unifiées d’une nouvelle manière cette fois : André Villers réalisant, mettant en scène ses compositions ; les éclairant d’une lumière pénétrant magiquement dans l’objectif photographique ; donnant naissance à des œuvres, comme toutes les autres ici présentées, faites de lames et de lumières.

Atelier André Villers


Throughout a 64 year long artistic career, André Villers was able to confront and explore a multitude of mediums. The André Villers Atelier is pleased to collaborate with the Beddington Gallery and to present selections from three series of his later works from 1995 up until 2016. Firstly, drawing from his Photo-collage series, in which he delighted in cutting out, combining, composing and re-creating within his own inner universe Manet,  Rembrandt, Van Gogh and many other Old Masters against his own background photographs. These photo-collages equally provided him with the means, on his own, to continue the exceptional and unique dialogue with Picasso seen in their jointly created artworks from the 1950’s onwards. Later on, in parallel with other projects, André Villers began creating the pure paper découpages series; this latter for more than twenty years, before setting himself the challenge of his swansong – Ultimes Digitales (2014 – 2016) in which the practice of découpage and of photography are now blended into one in a novel manner; André Villers creating and positioning his compositions; illuminating them with a magically penetrative light from his photographic lens; giving birth to artworks, like all those presented in this exhibition, made from blades and light.

Atelier André Villers




Several original manuscript works by Butor will be exhibited alongside Villers’ photographs and we shall also be showing a charming and light-hearted series of découpages by Villers.

André Villers – Autoportrait – Photographie
Dim : 29 x 37 cm

André Villers – « Crucifixion »
Photographie – Dim : 39,6 x 29,3 cm

André Villers – « La Propriété des Souffles »
Tirage unique d’époque – avec vers de Michel Butor – signé verso « A. Villers » et daté juin 81 – Dim : 39.5 x 29 cm

André Villers
« Parfois les hommes viennent inscrire leurs déclarations sur mes écorces »
Photographie du poème de Michel Butor – Signé « A. Villers » – Dim : 38,5 x 27,5 cm

André Villers
« Feuillages exotiques »
Photographie – Dim : 39,5 x 29,6 cm


André Villers – Auto portrait
Découpage en noir et blanc
Signé et daté 4.09.04 – Dim : 64 x 49 cm

André Villers – Le Baiser
Découpage en 3 couleurs
Signé et daté 17.8.04 – Dim : 63,5 x 49 cm

André Villers – Yin Yang
Découpage en trois couleurs
Signé et daté 17.08.04 – Dim : 64 x 49 cm


Brief Biographical Notes

Born in 1930 near Belfort in the North of France, at the age of seventeen,Villers was sent down to Vallauris on the Riviera for long-term medical care. Despite being bed-bound for much of this period, he studied photography under Pierre Astoux.

Villers first met Picasso in 1953 and was granted access to his ateliers, the immediate fruits of these frequent visits being the present from Picasso of a brand new Rolleiflex, camera and the cementing of a relationship unlike any other the Master had with his photographers, and which was to endure until Picasso’s death in 1973.

Such a long collaboration gave life to many important projects, none more so than « DIURNES », 1962, photographic experiments and montages with texts by Prévert, and, unforgettably, those many images of Picasso known the world over.

From 1953, Villers had begun photographing the great writers and artists of the time, Aragon, Léger, Chagall, Dali, Le Corbusier, Miró, César, Max Ernst, Hartung, to name but a few, and from the 1960s, his work was more and more exhibited throughout France.

In parallel with his portraiture and highly important documentation of Picasso at work in his ateliers, Villers’ creative and experimental studies took shape, from exhibitions of « Ombre des Sculptures » (Giacometti) and « Saisir les Ombres » in 1967, « Ex Photos », « Photométries »,  « Pliage d’Ombres » through the seventies to the photo-collages and découpages of more recent times.

He has collaborated with many great artists and writers ( Aragon, Prévert, Butor, Francis Ponge, Jiri Kolar, Daniel Schmitt) and his work has been exhibited at the Pompidou Centre, the Royal Academy, in Bucharest, Prague, Hamburg ,Cologne, Rome, Barcelona, in New York, Québec, Japan and Korea.

For his 75th birthday on the 10th October 2005, his home town of Mougins honoured him by renaming the Museum of Photography, « Le Musée André Villers ».

Exhibitions in Milan, Rome, the South of France, and New York attest to the continued demand for works by this « Alchemist of the Shadows » who is still working in his laboratory.

Guy Beddington first met André Villers in 1987 in Mougins and his first exhibition « Corps Célestes » was in 2003 with mixed works by Villers, his wife Chantal Villers and great friend Michel Carlin.


« Il était une fois la Propriété des Souffles… »

A moving display of original photographs by André Villers and poetry by Michel Butor combine to mark their time spent with Roselyne in June 1981 sharing the last days of an 150 year era of private ownership, prior to this beautiful property passing into the hands of Sean Connery.

Friends and collaborators on numerous projects, exhibitions and publications since their first meeting in 1973, Butor is inspired to write emotionally-charged verses on the trunks of trees in the château gardens, which Villers photographs, preserving them for posterity.

Weathered stonework, majestic cheminées, from below stairs to the attics, Villers’ lens defines timeless architectural forms and captures strange but beautiful compositions born of the juxtaposition of objets de vertu and discarded mementos, clothes, portraits and cracking plasterwork shrouded in cobwebbed mystery.

André Villers – Face à face
Découpage en noir et blanc
Signé et daté 1.07.04 – Dim : 62 x 46,7 cm

André Villers – Tête Bêche
Découpage en bleu et blanc
Signé et daté 15.07.04 – Dim : 62 x 48 cm