Carrance was a photographer and book illustrator who, working mostly in the 1950′s and 60′s, created a private body of homoerotic dreamscape’s under the pseudonym ‘Czanara’. The exhibit shines new light on Carrance’s art, which is certainly courageous and innovative, especially for its time.
One of the last great unknown erotic artists of the 20th century, his work is somewhat reminiscent of the magic realism style of the painters Paul Cadmus and Jared French, yet done in a photographic medium. Using overlays of abstract graphics over dreamy images of languid young men at play, his work is a meditative pondering of the artist’s psyche. The work is reverential, distinctly European, yet never exploitative.
Carrance, who lived from 1921–1998, was also responsible for illustrating with elaborate etchings and lithographs the works of Jules Renard and Cyrano de Bergerac, as well as an edition of Henry de Montherlant’s 1951 gay classic La Ville dont Le Prince est un Enfant (The Land Whose King is a Child). There will be examples of this riveting work, as well as his compelling drawings, on view as well. Having died with no heirs, his work was sold at auction by the French state, but luckily fell into the hands of a bookseller who we have to thank for it finally seeing the light of day.