Pierre Cordier


Pierre Cordier Biography

Pierre Cordier (b. 1933) was born in Brussels into a family of industrialists specializing in cosmetics, including nail polish. He is known as the father of the chemigram. While writing with nail polish on photographic paper, he discovered this technique, which “combines the physics of painting (varnish, oil, wax) and the chemistry of photography (photosensitive emulsion, developer, and fixer) without the use of a camera or enlarger, and in full light,” according to Cordier. This unique method allowed Cordier to push the boundaries of the photographic medium. Otto Steinert, founder of the Subjektive Fotografie movement, encouraged Cordier and his work was included in the 1958 Subjektive Fotografie 3 exhibition in Cologne. His work was featured in the 1967 exhibition A European Experiment at MoMA along with Denis Brihat and Jean-Pierre Sudre. In 1988 the Museum of Fine Arts of Belgium had a retrospective of his work. More recently, Cordier's work has been exhibited at the Centre Georges Pompidou and the Victoria & Albert Museum.