Déduction — Jean-François Leroy



Jean-François Leroy

Past: September 8 → October 25, 2012

« Turning down a front over a plane » (J.-F. Leroy, August 2012)

Folding, folding up, sawing, joining, assembling, leveling,selecting, working on the areas of flat color, cutting out, expanding, covering up, re-covering, spacing out, arranging. And folding the new work-plane all at once.

Jean-François Leroy begins with the plane. What we call a « plane » in geometry is a two-dimensional space that can stretch out infinitely and has no theoretical thickness. For Jean-François Leroy, the wood is used as a common and convenient material, rather than for its possible connotations. It has only one meaning: « the plane ». The later can thus meet its cousin in fitted carpet or canvas sheet, and smoke or paint set off its flatness. The volatile ash and splashed outlines show in turn how the material can spread out infinitely. Jean-François Leroy cuts and folds this plane. He doesn’t just cut wood or sculpt, or make an object; he folds space, printing its global shape according to the rules of geometry and visual perception. The colors he chooses are industrial and don’t mean to have any particular meaning — their mere semantic neutrality characterizes them — and they visually enhance how manufactured objects can change the perceptive space the spectator gets into. An exhibition of Jean-François Leroy’s art, then, is not a set of objects caught up into a chatty conversation. The set is made to be felt and appreciated according to the folds the artist printed into space — clearly relating to minimal art. We therefore understand the presence of these folded carbon papers in the exhibition hosted by the Bertrand Grimont Art Gallery. Though Jean-François Leroy is folding imaginary planes and going from 2D to 3D when he sculpts, the reverse is done for his collages, unless seen as a third stage to the experiment. The paper (2D) is folded, swirls around, rises up into the air and forms an imaginary pyramid (3D); it is then turned down over, superimposing the two planes over each other (2D). The folds leave a sooty mark on the sheet and tells the story of these spatiotemporal moves. The temporality that remains echoes the artist’s creative process, where each piece in his studio can be, once again, a work-top.

We do not live however in a pure geometrical space, we cover planes, right angles and stretched areas daily: this is the architectural space with rooms, grounds, walls — a house, a company, an institution (museums) — tables, desks, shelves (in Swedish kit-forms), public benches, phone booths. We are surrounded by industrial planes and minimal surfaces which provoke different behaviors from our body (whether we would use them or avoid them) — or prevent those behaviours, when we can no longer lie down on a public bench — but this is another debate. Jean-François Leroy’s objects recall this urban office-furniture. Even so, sitting on them or actually using them are exceptions; they are meant to be seen and contemplated in their surroundings. The rendering, as well as the ’organic’ plaster stained from the block, show with its incongruity that the object is not restricted to a particular use. This is not a statement about our bureaucratic society. Jean-François Leroy substitutes the possibility of a new and free relation to space, infinitely flexible and contemplative for our unconscious and strained daily experience of standardized forms. He, in turn, folds perception, and opens it up. This is a slightly disturbing, and purely aesthetic experience.

Traduction Justine Rousseau
  • Déduction — Jean François Leroy Opening Saturday, September 8, 2012 at 4 PM
Bertrand Grimont Gallery Gallery
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Arts et Métiers
Réaumur – Sébastopol

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