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Charlotte Lapalus



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Nuages – At the end of the 19th century, in 1873, three meteorologists belonging to the International Meteorological Organization – Hugo Hildebrand Hildebrandsson, Albert Riggenbach and Léon Teisserenc de Bort – were commissioned to draw up the first International Cloud Atlas. They worked on it for twenty-three years, and a first version was finally published in 1896. In addition to paintings and drawings, for the first time there are color photographs of clouds, a complicated and expensive process at the time. The book, still relevant from a scientific point of view, can also be seen as a work of art, testifying to the alliance between science and photography, as well as to the infinite aesthetic potential of clouds.

So we thought, in the light of these pictorial and meteorological studies, of the book “Nuages” by Charlotte Lapalus who, from Europe, Canada or the Sahara, continually records remarkable states of the sky.

His framings, devoid of any terrestrial referent, are reminiscent of Constable’s Cloud Studies: the sea above which the clouds form, the mountains in which they cling, or the plains that darken under their passage, all disappear from his photographs. The focus is definitely on motif and light: here, the opaline filaments of a cirrus cloud, here the muted, obscure loops of a cumulonimbus, or the agitated masses of nimbostratus clouds that slowly coalesce and then suddenly light up from within. In a chromatic wandering – which reflects their evolving nature – clouds go from white to gray, turning pink, yellow or violet, depending on their altitude, the blue of the sky, or the position of the sun in relation to the horizon… Sometimes, special lighting, such as fires or city lights, can interfere with their natural colors.

In the age of the Anthropocene, other questions arise. Jet condensation trails, urban smog, factory plumes and atomic mushrooms have all entered the atmospheric landscape since the start of the Industrial Revolution. We call them anthropogenic clouds, and what they all have in common is that they are artificially created by human activity.

  • date of publication : December 2023
  • language : FR
  • pages : 42 p.
  • format : 29 x 21.4 x 2.3
  • tirage : 350 copies
  • binding : hardcover linen
  • ISBN : 9782492820045
  • publishers : Amers Editions
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