Almost ten years after French artist Daniel Dezeuze’s last solo exhibition in Belgium, Galerie Templon is presenting a tour through the history of his work: When the square becomes circle.
A founding member of the Supports/Surfaces group, Daniel Dezeuze has spent forty years constructing and deconstructing the traditional media and materials of painting. His early interest in nomad and non-European cultures produced a reinterpretation of American art, both abstract and minimalist, in the 1960s. His singular journey, steeped in craftwork practices and anthropology, has led him to experiment with what are seen as basic materials, wood, metal gauze, net and fabric, as well as subverted objects.
For the Brussels space, Daniel Dezeuze has created a journey through fifty years of a rich and diverse oeuvre.
The journey starts in 1969 with a flexible Echelle de bois made up of a grid of squares that become circles when rolled out on the ground. This work constitutes an exercise in topology, opening the door onto another space – a preoccupation that has marked all the artist’s work through the years, right up to the recent piece exhibited at the gallery, 14 juillet dans un jardin républicain (2012). The notions of extending works into space (14 juillet), distorting frames (Triangulation Magenta, 1975), the cross-cutting role, and light (Pavillons, 2001) are an equally abiding feature of his work.
Daniel Dezeuze is also showing his Peintures qui perlent, where coloured hanging forms are stretched over wires a few centimetres from their support, scattered like musical notes on a score. He has filled the gallery’s small room with a geometric grouping (Triangulations version métal, 2011) and a series of compasses overlapping wooden circles (2016). How can the immeasurable be measured?
All these works, in a state of levitation produced by their shape or colour, conjure up an ethereal, ventilated world, a visible lightness of being. As part of his ongoing dialogue with history and the practice of art, Daniel Dezeuze has consistently given proof of his capacity to conquer space as well as to free himself from the ponderousness and rules of art.
Born in 1942 in Alès, Daniel Dezeuze lives and works in the southern French port town of Sète. His oeuvre is influencing an entire new generation of American painters and receives critical attention from across the Atlantic.
His work has been widely exhibited since the 1970s; a recent example is the major exhibition of his drawings held by FRAC Languedoc Roussillon in Montpellier in late 2015. Over the last decade, his work has been shown at the Cherry and Martin Gallery in Los Angeles and New York’s Canada Gallery (2014), MAMAC in Nice (2012), Centrale Electrique in Brussels (2009) and Musée Fabre in Montpellier (2009).