A drawing… A line! Meeting with Daniel Dezeuze
The work of the French artist Daniel Dezeuze is no longer presented. Born in 1942 in Alès, this founding member of the movement Support/Surface works in questioning the pictorial foundations while experimenting with raw material, made of wood, metal or fabric. But do we know the extent of his graphic work? An abundant work from which emerges a freedom of thought, meaning and execution. Produced in several series as diverse as “Papillons”, “Dessins Italiens”, “Insectes”, “Grotesques”, “Giverny”, part of this production was the occasion of an exhibition at the Templon Gallery in Paris at the beginning of this year. Light and silent leaves without any temporality. and the output
Marlène Pegliasco: Would you consider the drawing as a preparatory step or as a separate entity?
Daniel Dezeuze: I started my apprenticeship at the Ecole des Beaux-arts de Montpellier and I also studied a lot from nature during my walks or travels. The subject varies according to my movements. Mexico City inspires differently than the Mediterranean landscape. My style is changing too. In North America, American minimalist art has had a great influence on me. I can produce drawings made of a few lines and others that are quite naturalistic, such as the “Butterflies” series. The exhibition held at the Templon Gallery – “Under a certain angle”, from 12 January to 09 March 2019 and the book referring to it – “Drawings 1960-2018” published by SKIRA – includes almost 60 years of drawings. We had to make a selection because I have a lot of them. Drawing is a very flexible way of moving in the past of civilizations, in the present of nature, a way of being mobile and in this mobility to find a very great freedom. Drawing is at the heart of my production because my sculptures are often three-dimensional works with a very graphic character. I do not work with the masses as an artist would with clay or marble. I untie the forms, bring a linearity and in this, the drawing is essential.
Marlène Pegliasco: The drawings are made in series.
Daniel Dezeuze: Some series are longer, others shorter. The butterfly one lasts 10 years. I make drawings, then I stop and resume one year later for example. It is the only series that takes place in time while the others stop and I don’t come back to it anymore.
Marlene Pegliasco: What are your inspirations?
Daniel Dezeuze: I live in Sète and my studio is surrounded by a garden. This close nature influences my themes. But above all, the inspiration is quite varied. I let myself go with the flow and I understand what interests me. The series “Abstract Drawings” are drawing-writing in which I question the graphic relationship. “Weapons and Fortresses” and”Gnostics” refer to ancient religions that dealt with the darkness of the world. I was translating this night from consciousness using black paper. “Lascaux” is a tribute to the very origin of the pictorial act. For the “Papillons”, there is essentially reverie, the images fly into the air and come to relieve human beings disturbed by all these existential questions. My many readings also feed me. In fact, I have edited some books and illustrated poems
Marlene Pegliasco. Do you have a preferred technique?
Daniel Dezeuze: Not really. I will choose the technique according to the intention. The graphite pencil is essential for the line. Pastel and watercolour are used to create soft tones, the colourful shapes that follow one another. These are two different techniques but with strong graphic powers. The link is the hand that serves as a passage on the pigments and makes them evolve on paper. She is the go-between between the idea and its execution.
The exhibition was the subject of a magnificent book published by Skira, which includes a fine and wide selection of Daniel Dezeuze’s comic series from 1960 to 2018.
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