Liquid Light 1983–2003 is a single-volume monograph assembled from the personal work of Fabien Baron. Spanning twenty years and two continents, the collection draws from over 2,000 photographs taken on the coasts of Eastern America, Western Europe, and the Mediterranean. As the title suggests, the book chronicles Baron’s transformation of concrete, geographical sites into abstract tableaux. Utilizing long exposure for each image, Baron reveals the most essential aspect of his subject matter: light.
Returning year after year to each location, Baron achieves a meditative rhythm that is readily apparent when the work is viewed sequentially. While each image varies infinitely in detail—weather, hour, and light change, as do lenses and film stock—they all maintain a fundamental composition: water and sky bisected by horizon.
The horizon line, a crucial element in the photograph, defines color planes free of a visual hierarchy. The viewer is released from conventional, figurative ways of seeing. Subtle gradations in color and tone offset the repetition of form, creating abstract vistas where sea and sky are one and the same. The images are deceptively still: chromatic abstractions gleaned from a sea and a sky that are never stationary and never entirely empty. Above all, the photographs reflect the state in which they were produced—one of internal calm and meditation—and the book’s structure echoes this.