Six months of daily shooting of over 250 skeletons at the Museum of Natural History in Paris as well as four other locations in France. From the smallest to the biggest vertebrate, isolated in front of a black background, Patrick Gries presents these skeletons as sculptures. This series of stark black-and-white photographs offers an atypical approach to viewing natural science and forces us to reconsider the boundaries between artistic and scientific objects.
Spectacular, mysterious, elegant, or grotesque, vertebrate skeletons are objects of art, which carry within them the traces of several billion years of evolution.
The book Evolution features more than 250 of Patrick Gries' photographs, accompanied by a text written by scientist and documentarian Dr. Jean-Baptiste de Panafieu. The result is a powerful pairing that profoundly illustrates how we came to be what we are. Evolution steps beyond the debate and presents the undeniable truth of Darwin's theory, showing through skeletons both obscure and commonplace, but always intriguing, the process by which life has transformed itself, again and again.
The photographs have entered private art collections and have been on exhibitions in France, Denmark and Russia.
Evolution (in Action): Natural History Through Spectacular Skeletons
by Patrick Gries and Jean-Baptiste De Panafieu
6 Co-Publishers, 6 Languages
Hardcover: 288 pages
Skeletons Flesh Out Life’s Past: This book belongs both to the realm of art as it does that of science and with 6 co-publishing in foreign language, has been acclaimed throughout the world. Skeletons, as “Evolution” demonstrates, provide evidence for the history of life both hard and beautiful.
—Carl Zimmer, NY Times
A bone to pick: Strip any creature of its flesh, and the process of evolution is laid bare. Steve Jones celebrates the stories told and the beauty revealed in the skeleton photographs of Patrick Gries.
—Steve Jones, The Guardian