Didier Demozay — Peintures récentes
Past: January 10 → February 15, 2014
Galerie Jean Fournier presents Didier Demozay’s recent paintings. For this new exhibition Demozay, a regular exhibitor at the gallery since 1986, is showing a collection of paintings in various formats as well as some works on paper.
Since the 1980s, Didier Demozay has based his painting on a profound relationship between the act of painting and the colour itself. The coloured areas are spread liberally, and combine with the white spaces in the picture in such a way that they sometimes seem to float there. His deceptively simple work is strikingly radical and minimalist. The shapes tend towards the rectangular but are not geometrical. They wrestle but never make contact; they attract or repel one another right up to the edges of the painting. The white of the canvas is alive and makes play with the gaps and tensions produced between the shapes and the colours and how they relate to the space.
Didier Demozay works with great economy of means to an established routine. The background of the canvas is covered with a thin layer of white, on which he paints two or three coloured areas. The choice of the first colour is decisive. Demozay does not think of himself as a colourist but wants only to paint the colour itself. He rejects effect for effect’s sake and uses only pure colours, often the same ones: deep black, ultramarine, violets, acid or dark greens, reds and oranges. He very seldom mixes them and then only to obtain a particular colour like pink. He does however sometimes superimpose them.
The canvas is an experimental field for Didier Demozay rather than a representational area, where colour is all-important. His paintings are generally large scale and usually rectangular, like the shapes painted on them. He paints standing up in front of the canvas — a kind of trial of strength with the work in hand. He is an exacting artist, destroying anything that doesn’t come up to his expectations and only rarely reworks one of the rejects. He pushes painting as far as it will go; each new work is a new test for him.
Demozay never considers a canvas to be finished. What the visitor sees is a painting in progress.
“Whenever we went to Demozay’s studio, we could never dissociate the painting we were standing in front of from the man who was working at it. What we were being shown was a block of present time in which we were unable to separate the painting from the act that situated it in that instant”.
“Affrontements”, Frédéric Valabrègue, Didier Demozay, Château de Ratilly, 2012