02.11.06 — 14.01.07
CONFERENCE BY JULIEN FRONSACQ: 8 NOVEMBER 2006 AT 7 P.M.
The Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève is proud to present the solo exhibition of Swiss artist PHILIPPE DECRAUZAT
Whether in the form of painting, wall painting, drawing, sculpture or installation, Decrauzat’s practice offers one of the most convincing current explorations of the status of abstraction in contemporary culture, within today’s young international art scene. He is also an artist interested in how the spectator ‘sees’ an image and his works investigates the status of the image, using methods inherited from Conceptual and Pop art. The exhibition includes 3 sculptures, a wall painting and a large floor painting, as well as the première of a short film, the first of the artist’s works to venture into this medium.
Decrauzat’s oeuvre operates within the rich heritage of twentieth century abstraction. On the one hand, his is a practice aware of the utopian forms of Russian constructivism, the psychological distortions of Op art, and the purified geometries of Minimal art. On the other hand, the artist has also absorbed the ideas of American artists such as Ross Bleckner, who in the 1970s and 1980s recycled of the so called ‘historic’ abstraction and evacuated it from its original meaning. However what Decrauzat actually claims for his work is a critical distance from all of the above, and a desire to resurrect what he describes as the permeability of abstraction. Indeed he defends the position that the history of abstraction constantly offered evidence of connectivity between disciplines, and goes on to explain that: ‘The history of forms I am fascinated by intersects with graphic design, film, architecture, music and even literature’.
The variety of visual sources he employs is present only subtly in the work. For example the wall painting ‘DK’ builds upon and distorts the logo of a Californian punk rock band from the 1980s called Dead Kennedys, so as to produce an optical effect which plays with the open angle of the wall. Another example, the deformed bench entitled ‘Process’, is in fact an interpretation of a Moholy-Nagy design angled in two planes, rendering it impossible to use and converting it to an icon.
The exhibition at the Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève takes the form of a large installation. When entering the space, the side wall (to the right) starts with a bevelled edge, like a blade. The two walls form a 60-degrees angle. According to the artist, the wall and the exhibition create the beginning of a movement, but it is up to the spectator indeed to reconstruct it and figure out what the exhibition would look like if it could turn around its axis. As Julien Fronsacq – French independent curator and art critic – mentions in its interview with Decrauzat1, ‘the exhibition course is a real deconstruction’. The way the artist describes its setup ‘suggests that [he] dismantled a roundabout to have a closer look at how pieces are usually used. You put it on stand-by then examine each gearing, the way a freeze-frame allows for cinema-image analysis.’
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Exhibtion: 02.11.06 — 14.01.07
Curator: Katya García-Antón.