Marc Desgrandchamps


“Marc Desgrandchamps is of course one of the major artists on the French scene. Despite the evolution of his paintings, they are distinguishable from those of other artists. Returning to the old metaphor of “the window opened onto the world”, his subjects have grown richer, even if it’s difficult to enumerate them. Moreover, his paintings don’t have titles. For the last twenty years, they have relied increasingly on photography and cinema. At their inception, his references were ancient and modern paintings from museums, from Poussin to Beckmann, right through to Malevich. Over these he superimposes film stills, photographs taken during his travels and sometimes images clipped from the press. Their essentially figurative and realistic character means that his paintings are no exception to the principle of migration of forms and attitudes set out by Warburg. A passer-by recalls an antique relief or a figure on a vase. These almost academic references to the art of the past are enriched by cinematic references, holiday photos and probably childhood memories. And this process of representation has become more complex over the years, opening up new subjects with every period’s technical changes. His regular work in the studio has enabled him to carve out a niche for himself – it is increasingly clear that his paintings’ realism is fully compatible with the representation of dreams. [...] These paintings are constructed like equations. They show what we could potentially see in memory, not in reality. The realism is an illusory one.”
(Fabrice Hergott, from: The White Shadow, Marc Desgrandchamps – Palindromes, EIGEN + ART Lab, Berlin 2012.)

Marc Desgrandchamps, born in 1960, lives and works in Lyon. His works have been shown in numerous national and international exhibitions, including at the Fondation Salomon (2013), at the Musée d’Art Moderne, Paris (2011), at the Dialogue Space Gallery, Peking (2011), at the Musée Baron Martin, Gray (2007), at the Kunsthalle Budapest (2005), at the Muzeul National de Arta al Romaniei, Bukarest (2005), at the Musée d’art Contemporain, Lyon (2004), at the Musée de l’Abbaye Sainte-Croix, Les Sables d’Olonnes (2004) and at the Centre George Pompidou (1995).

Harriet, Thorpe: Marc Desgrandchamps: Interview, Studio International, 23.6.2014

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