Daniel Dezeuze


Templon Bruxelles is closing the season with an exhibition of work by one of the leading lights of the French Supports/Surfaces movement: Daniel Dezeuze.

The 82-year-old artist is showing his latest work – a series of sculptures, paintings, drawings and installations – inspired by his discovery of nomad cultures outside Europe.

Daniel Dezeuze has spent close to fifty years working on deconstructing the notion of the painting. A theorist and founding member of the avant-garde Supports/Surfaces movement, he turned his back on the canvas from its outset. He flips stretchers against the wall, playing with empty spaces and three-dimensionality to push the boundaries of artistic traditions and explore the traditional media and materials of painting in his quest to delve into the role and history of its practice.

The exhibition shines the light on one of the artist’s many facets with a personal reflection inspired by his travels in the 1960s in Mexico and his discovery of Maya architecture. He makes mural assemblages from offcuts of painted wood in a nod to this foundational experience in the jungle surrounded by the ghosts of past civilisations. These pieces rub shoulders with a series of “shields’ evoking the tensions between nature and culture, indigenous communities and colonisers. His remarkable journey has led him to experiment with what are seen as basic materials, wood, metal gauze, net and fabric, as well as their subtle combination, offering a disquieting examination of the boundaries between art and crafts, untouched nature and the tamed world, and of the fragility of civilisations and modernity.

The new exhibition also features a collection of drawings, a jungle of flowers, insects, mosquitoes and snails. Flirting with abstraction, the collection depicts a nature that is as delicate and it is untameable, highlighting the artist’s obsession with “grasping the ungraspable.”

The artist

Born in 1942 in Alès, France, Daniel Dezeuze was one of the founding members of the Supports/Surfaces group in the 1970s. His work seeks to explore and question the concepts that underpin painting, galleries and space. The artist appropriates a wide variety of techniques, offering a reinterpretation of American art, both abstract and minimalist, while constantly experimenting with what are seen as basic materials: net, metal gauze, wood, fabric and metal.

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