Lucien Clergue made his name in the 1950s when, as a young photographer, he became close to both Jean Cocteau and Pablo Picasso both of whom supported him early in his career. He went on the establish himself as one of the most idiosyncratic and influential French photographers, combining a subtle artistic sensibility with the heat and sensuality of his native Provence.

Clergue's archive contains a vast array of imagery, but there are three strong themes that emerge female nudes, bullfighting, and Picasso and his circle. While the nudes have become iconic in the history of photography, all three subject matters are of significant, recurrent interest to Clergue, allowing him to express himself and his world.

Clergue's genius is to produce beautiful images that appeal on a sensual level, but that also engage the viewer intellectually. His photographs speak of the South of France: heat, sand, dust, art, sensuality and, in the case of bullfighting, life and death.They take us on a journey through Clergue's life and passions, while also revealing his deeper thoughts about the world and his place within it.

Click here to view this exhibition on the Chris Beetles Fine Photographs website.