John DeAndrea — Grâce



John DeAndrea

Past: June 9 → July 22, 2023

Letʼs be honest: we are all still captivated once, the first time that we chance upon a hyperrealist sculpture in an exhibition.

Even a frequent visitor to contemporary art galleries and museums may have experienced this mental jolt when spotting from a distance a tourist in a gaudy shirt by Duane Hanson or a stark-naked young woman by John DeAndrea; the lifelike appearance of these characters, and their incongruity, have ruptured the peaceful atmosphere of the exhibition space.

Thus, in 1972, visitors to Documenta were shocked by Arden Anderson and Nora Murphy (Nora and Arden) (1972), viewing them as two intertwined lovers in bed, surprised just after, or just before, making love. Of course, todayʼs art enthusiasts are no longer shocked, but they nonetheless still feel a little uncomfortable.

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John DeAndrea, Moules, 2022 Plâtre Courtesy de l’artiste et galerie GP & N Vallois, Paris

Does the warm presence of the model not insinuate itself into their imaginations, as if being exuded by his or her bronze effigy? The artist, who should be described as being as much a painter as a sculptor, has devoted hours and hours of work to the incredibly precise rendering of the skinʼs tone and transparency, down to the appearance of the most delicate vein or the tiniest mole, pimple or freckle.

Just centimetres from a life-size nude body, of which the grain of the skin is so apparent that we seem to see it shivering, we keep our hands in our pockets. At that moment, deep within us, we sense the return of what Klossowski calls the “schoolboyʼs point of view”. I will add this incidental comment: I am certain that the art lover experiences this nudity more vividly than a “militant” of the currently fashionable neo-puritanism, who would denounce such indecency or exploitation of the female body, their gaze being directed less by sensibility than by their ideology. […] almost all the sculptures gathered together in this exhibition — all from 2022 — show women in poses that are not particularly expressive. They are pensive, resting. Even Adam and Eve seem more resigned than moved by being banished from Paradise. It seems that these sculptures bring to the exhibition space all the reticence, concentration and libidinal indifference that prevails in an academic workshop, precisely where DeAndrea says he discovered his true vocation.

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John DeAndrea, Bust of Theresa, 1998 Bronze polychrome, cheveux acryliques 35,5 x 39 x 22 cm Courtesy de l’artiste et galerie GP & N Vallois, Paris

Catherine Millet, Les belles indifférentes de John DeAndrea (excerpts), published in Grace, monography about John DeAndrea, co-edited by Galerie GP & N Vallois & Les Presses du réel, 2023

06 St Germain Zoom in 06 St Germain Zoom out

33/36, rue de Seine

75006 Paris

T. 01 46 34 61 07 — F. 01 43 25 18 80


Opening hours

Every day except Sunday, 10 AM – 5 PM

The artist

  • John DeAndrea