Philippe Decrauzat, No Journey Ends
April 9 – May 21, 2022
Galerie Francesca Pia is pleased to announce a comprehensive exhibition of works by Philippe Decrauzat. The artist’s third solo exhibition at the gallery includes a series of new paintings and a film and sound installation.
Philippe Decrauzat’s new series of black-and-white paintings is based on his exploration of Alexander Mikhailovich Rodchenko’s work, Construction 126 (1920), a small-format, abstract painting depicting three white lines on a black ground. The painting is now regarded as the pinnacle of the Constructivist exploration of the relationship between line and volume and between pictorial surface and pictorial space.
For his new series, Decrauzat adopted the concept of white lines on a black ground; he then multiplied the motif of the line by breaking up the pictorial surface of the canvas into individual linear elements. This resulted in a complex optical interaction between the painterly execution, the white lines set against the black ground and the materiality of the canvas objects, i.e., black lines on the wall of the exhibition space. While Rotschenko navigated entirely in two-dimensional space, Decrauzat opens up the concrete, surrounding space with his pictorial objects. The formal spectrum of the series ranges from labyrinthine elements and spirals to more ornamental compositions. All these motifs describe an optical path, which forces the eye into a guided movement of observation, into a kind of optical drift not unlike that of a tracking shot.
The film installation presented in the central space of the gallery picks up on this motif. Entitled Take On / No Take, it shows the isolated blinking of Bustor Keaton from the opening sequence of Film (1965), written by Samuel Beckett. In this work, Decrauzat also explores the motifs of continuity and interruption. On the one hand, the visual field, which is interrupted by the reflex of blinking, is presented within the film’s time continuum. At the same time, however, Decrauzat disrupts this continuum by repeating the blinks. Through this intervention in the montage of the film images, the artist emphasizes the structural character of this moment of occlusion, which contrasts with the continuous movement of the projected image in the exhibition space.
Philippe Decrauzat was born in Lausanne in 1974. He lives and works in Lausanne and Paris. Decrauzat’s most important recent solo exhibitions and projects include Still (Times Stand), Le Portique (2021), Le Havre; Gradient, Kanal Pompidou (2021), Brussels; Replica, Blueproject Foundation (2019), Barcelona; Double Exposure, Praz-Delavallade (2019), Los Angeles; Tenir pendant que le balancement se meurt, Parra & Romero (2017), Madrid; and Bright Phase, Dark Phase, Galerie Mehdi Chouakri (2016), Berlin. His works are included in major public collections, such as the Fondation Louis Vuitton (FLV), Paris; Kunsthaus Zürich; Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Buenos Aires (MACBA), Buenos Aires; Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York City, Centre Pompidou, Paris and the Musée d’art moderne de la Ville de Paris.
A comprehensive catalogue of Decrauzat’s work has just been published by Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König and contains contributions by Michel Gauthier, Bob Nickas, Jimena Canales, Arnauld Pierre, Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, Jonathan Pouthier, Tan Lin & Joaquim Moreno, Peter Saville and Mathieu Copeland.