David Décamp — Forêt


Drawing, installation, sculpture

David Décamp

Past: December 1, 2016 → January 14, 2017

Marie Hélène de La Forest Divonne presents for the first time a solo exhibition of David Décamp, who questions insatiably man, nature and their sometimes destructive relationship through his sculptures, installations and drawings.


Self-taught artist, his view has always been linked to the forest, since he was raised in the moutain ranges of Jura and then worked as a woodsman and tree-trimmer. At 23 years old, an accident happens ; from there, it is through art that he will be reborn. First he ventures towards stone and wood carving , and at a turning point he confronts many different materials which allow his sculptures to dialogue in echo until gradually going towards installation. “The most important thing is to search not to find, he says, searching is a way to transcend”.

Decam medium
David Décamp, Forêts primaires, 2011 Ink, wash drawing on papier arche — 26 × 36 cm — one piece Courtesy of the artist & Galerie la Forest Divonne, Paris

Many themes and materials often reoccur in his sculptures and installations: trees and lead are all the necessary items that create his metaphorical universe. Like Joseph Beuys, the elements that led the artist to his loss are also those that have allowed him to rebuild his future. As though he was still in the forest, David Décamp is a marginal being, well away from our often consumerist system. He claims craftsmanship, work by hand, the meticulous precision and salvage. “I feel close to Art Brut” he says.

Decamps medium
David Décamp, L’arbre dans l’arbre, 2011 Ink, wash drawing on papier arche — 78 × 108 cm — one piece Courtesy of the artist & Galerie la Forest Divonne, Paris

His works are not reduced to the only evocation of his biography, quite to the contrary they suggest relics or mummies that create a singular poetic universe imbued with sacred, black humour and mysticism. His works also often demonstrate metaphors, such as the truncated and shortened branches covered with lead sheets on which the artist carves each vein one by one so as to experience the many years that this tree will not live, locked and trapped in its iron grip. David Décamp has a clear outlook on biodiversity and its destruction by humans. He claims he burdens with lead everything that humans destroy.

Decamp medium
David Décamp, J’aimerais la paix, 2012, 2012 Mixed media — 90 × 90 × 20 cm — one piece Courtesy of the artist & Galerie la Forest Divonne, Paris

In his forest wash drawings, two opposing voices are present: the one that organizes and harmonizes the trees into structured sets and the other, that gives free rein to the forces of nature, where the poetic and chaotic tangle of branches and trunks are expressed by a gestural liberty. The artist oscillates between the ordering nature and respect for its own rhythm, as the pruner once seeked the balance between control of trees and the respect of their trajectories.

The exhibition will consist of recent sculptures, installations and drawings that gradually weaves the outlines of a poetic work that glorifies inert, damaged or dismantled forms.

  • Opening Friday, December 2, 2016 6 PM → 9 PM
06 St Germain Zoom in 06 St Germain Zoom out

12, rue des Beaux-Arts

75006 Paris

T. 01 40 29 97 52

Official website


Opening hours

Tuesday – Saturday, 11 AM – 7 PM

The artist