FOOD FOR THOUGHT: “Jean-Michel Lenoir”, by David Mark

Dawn rises over misty mountaintops, and peaks surge through cloudbanks. Trees materialize like sentinels, sketched with delicate, minimalist brushstrokes. Rocks fade out for a few seconds and return more clearly in swirling plumes of vapor.

Many of Jean-Michel Lenoir’s images, currently on display in the exhibition “Evanescence” at Taunus Foto Galerie, deal with this quality of being fleeting. At the same time, they also show emergence, an awakening, a natural phenomenon – becoming visible after being concealed. The soul of raw elements bursting forth. Forgotten, vanished, they unexpectedly reappear through a waning mist, a wisp of whimsical light. A poetic hide-and-seek. This is nature’s theatre.

There is no need to travel the world to witness the spectacle of something as simple as mist rising over the landscape. For Jean-Michel, this gift of nature is dreamy and peaceful, though he wonders why some people do not distinguish between mist and fog. They are different meteorological phenomena but are sometimes reduced to a shared lack of visibility, uncertainty, and deprivation of visual reference points. But one is dense and heavy, and the other is all nuance and subtlety; ethereal mist reveals facets of a landscape. It is an invitation not to unveil immediately all to be seen. Everything is suggested. This is the minimalism and harmony that Jean-Michel distills and reveals in his images. Shrouded in vapor, everything is entwined and becomes one. Sky and the ground have wrapped their arms around each other in a brief embrace.

“Evanescence” is the result of personal research on minimalist atmospheres and muted landscapes, photographed anywhere from close to Paris, where he lives, to some expanses of Northern Europe; snow, ice, and mist make up the soul of his photography, they have been his guide for several years. They embody a graphic and aesthetic vision of nature – a way for Jean-Michel to get to the heart of the matter, keeping only a few elements that outline rather than define the subject. It is about contemplation and suggestion rather than a more figurative approach. Snow showers blur tree lines; mist rises above a lake; the white of a wave breaks over a rock; water runs under a frozen river; and an animal whose silhouette fades to blend in with the white. These moments fuel a dreamy vision of nature, which makes Jean-Michel go beyond reality to express emotion and poetry and to let mystery take effect.

Jean-Marc Lenoir – Zen Garden

I dreamt of this image. An image of a diaphanous silhouette in a snow field, the simple beauty of this tree, a single fragile element of life in the trough of this skilfully drawn curve. When the snow blurs the lines, it is simply enhanced by a cloud of snowflakes. One day, struck by this soothing vision, I came back to basics. I sought out the sharpest curve and placed the tree right in the middle. It nestled there, striking a perfect balance between the snow and the skyline. This image was the starting point for my work on Evanescence, and I salute this delicate tree, guardian of my inspiration.

Jean-Michel Lenoir – Loch Ba Lifting Mist

In the heart of the peat bogs, the atmosphere reveals ancient landscapes, vast stretches of water dotted with a few rocks, vestiges of the Ice Age, heather fields where grouse parade on mossy islets, scraggy birch trees clinging on to life in this rough and primitive environment. Dramatic and poetic beauty in which our eyes are lost in the reading of soft and mysterious shapes of these environments from another age.

Jean-Michel Lenoir – A Ghost in the Mist
Jean-Michel Lenoir – Blown By The Wind
Jean-Michel Lenoir – One For All




David Mark is a Brit who has lived in Germany for many years (and is now a German too). He grew up in the Netherlands, Belgium, and the UK, and he has a degree in German and French. Deep-seated interest in photography and theatre meant that he practiced these as an amateur for many years while working in sales in financial services. After nearly 40 years, he is now completely devoted to running a photography gallery in Bad Homburg, Germany.

Every year we release four quarterly printed editions of FRAMES Magazine. Each issue contains 112 pages printed on the highest quality 140g uncoated paper. You receive the magazine delivered straight to your doorstep. We feature both established and emerging photographers of different genres. We pay very close attention to new, visually striking, thought-provoking imagery, while respecting the long-lasting tradition of photography in its purest incarnation. Learn more >>>

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