Bernard Plossu

b. 1945

Bernard Plossu is a French photographer who has travelled the world photographing its landscapes and people.  Plossu has photographed extensively in Mexico, Spain, India, Africa, and the American West. He has been called “The most American of French photographers” by Lewis Baltz.

Plossu works in both black and white and color. His color work is printed exclusively by the Atelier Fresson. Bernard wrote for Lensculture, “The Fresson process is a rare and unique way to print color: it can be called “charcoal printing” as well. The grandfather, Theodore Henri, invented the process in 1899 and his son Pierre followed up. Later Michel and now Jean François—four generations, in all—carry on the tradition. What’s special is that it produces a particular mood, with a kind of grain that gives the land and the skies a matte sensation. It makes my pictures somehow peaceful and not at all tape à l’ oeil [flashy]. There is nothing glossy here, nothing spectacular, just the opposite, which is what I am looking for.”


We have had the honor meeting Bernard in 1980 and have enjoyed his friendship ever since.  He was present at our first opening in October of that year.  In the many years that we were fortunate to have Bernard living in New Mexico he was an active part of the photography community.  Along with sharing his own photographs with the community, he was also a “photo ambassador” bringing many European photographers to Santa Fe and introducing many others through curating exhibitions for the Santa Fe Center for Photography.  He was a gift to us all!





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