Elizabeth Dee is pleased to present the gallery debut of work by Philippe Decrauzat. The exhibition will feature an installation of paintings, sculptural elements and a 16mm film projection.
Decrauzat is among the newest generation of artists following in the tradition of the Swiss school of abstraction who are continuing the avant-garde strategies of the 1960s and 1970s. Decrauzat expands upon that history through the wider influences he mines: deconstructing the utopianism of Russian Constructivism, the formal distortions of OpArt and the geometrics of Minimalism. Of particular interest to him are the formal issues that arise in the transference of imagery from one medium to another, including the mistakes and flaws that often result from the printed reproduction of art works. In concentrating on the zones that are illuminated by these diffusions and accidents, Decrauzat creates physical interventions in the gallery that destabilize it as a physical location for seeing, revealing new points of perception and new methods for interrogating representation.
For this exhibition, Decrauzat presents work that integrates two-dimensional qualities into sculpture and three-dimensional qualities into painting. Process II is composed of five monochromatic paintings hung together in a form that makes reference to a 1929 design for a bench by László Moholy-Nagy. Situated in a circular room, the bench was meant to allow the viewer to see in all directions; here, the arrangement of the paintings serves as a kind of navigational tool that orients the viewer in a way similar to how a map of the space would. Slow Motion, presented in the center gallery, is a series of vertical stripe paintings-which, for Decrauzat, are emblematic of modernism-that appear “disturbed” by a darkening of color across the top of the paintings, creating an effect of light and shadow over the surface or perhaps signifying some accident that occurred in the “printing” of the surface. This quality creates a sense of rhythm and modulation that is heightened by the various permutations created by the painting’s installation across the gallery walls.
In the back gallery, Decrauzat screens AFTER BIRDS, a “movie made without a camera.” The 16mm film flashes images from the title sequence of Hitchcock’s notorious horror flick The Birds that have been digitally rearranged in sequence. Decrauzat’s edit elicits the pervasive paranoia of the original film while paying homage to structural and flicker film histories. By highlighting oblique moments and various incongruities from our cultural history, Decrauzat creates unique visual monuments that provide a new path for investigating the status of the image and the power of representation through abstraction.