Artist: Philippe Decrauzat
Venue: Francesca Pia, Zurich
Date: October 25 – January 10, 2008
Full gallery of images, press release, and link available after the jump.
The entrance area is fragmented by the wall-like sculpture Man the Square III (2008) which initially denies the visitor a view of the exhibition. Behind the sculpture a floor-to-ceiling wall painting reveals itself, mirroring a moiré effect (Mirrors, 2008). Like a distorted landscape it gives the space an elongated, corridor-like feel. In the process, attention is drawn to ever-new connections and overlaps between image and space. In his exhibition at Galerie Francesca Pia, Philippe Decrauzat takes on a complete reorganization of space. For the viewer moving through the space, this makes for a vertiginous physical experience, as the structure of the individual image dissolves into a pulsating or flickering sensation.
The viewer’s high-impact interactions with pictorial space visibly and palpably testify to Decrauzat’s preoccupation with the medium of film. Indebted equally to experimental films and to popular culture or science-fiction cinematography, Decrauzat undertakes manifold translations of the moving image into surface and space.
The result of these radical rhythmical constructions is a movement of the image generated in concomitancy with the viewer’s movement. Decrauzat’s piece Shut and Open at the Same Time (2008), a sculpture consisting of two interlocking frames, plays with similar shifts and layerings of perception. While the sculpture, or rather the frame, remains “empty”, the rhomboid-shaped paintings I-Go (Chess) (2008) located behind it enter the space and, with their optically distorted checkered pattern, seem to move toward the viewer.
With his wall paintings, films, sculptures, paintings and installations Philippe Decrauzat addresses issues relating to the history of 20th-century abstract art. Among his most important points of reference are Russian Constructivism, Op Art, Minimalism, Constructivism, and Concrete Art. At the same time, however, the artist insists on maintaining a critical distance to this legacy and challenges the alleged “autonomy” of abstraction vis-à-vis other disciplines. In focusing on abstract-concrete themes and their meticulous realization, Decrauzat also continues the Swiss tradition of Concrete Art and takes it into a new direction. The dense experiences that such reduced narrative forms make for have brought the artist international renown.