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Philippe Decrauzat

In his art Philippe Decrauzat is elaborating a visual language built up from simple, often geometrical forms deployed on a range of supports. On the canvas of a painting, in space, as an installation, on the walls of the exhibition venue, or even in video, the artist dreams up complex, disconcerting visual experiences which run counter to the apparent simplicity of the means employed.

Steeped in the culture of film, music, literature, the graphic arts and architecture, Decrauzat draws on these various worlds for the material he works into his compositions. These take shape as unmodelled uniform areas of pigment in a deliberately limited chromatic range, generally black and white, save a few colourful exceptions.

Decrauzat’s body of work re-examines those questions of vision, perception and movement so dear to the art avant-gardes and various abstract schools in the 20th century. He manages to reformulate them in a novel and spectacular way in the installation space. Most often he revisits the processes employed in Op Art from the 1960s, whilst borrowing from the formal vocabulary of Minimal Art and Russian Constructivism of the 1920s. The artist selects motifs and shapes according to their ability to spark a physical experience. This entails motifs drawn from many scattered sources, from the cultural field, our daily world and domains lying on the fringe of art.

A native of Lausanne, Decrauzat earned a degree from the same city’s École cantonale d’art (ECAL) in 1999, where he has been teaching since 2000. He took part in founding the art space Circuit in 1998, a venue that focuses on exhibiting young artists. A follower of John M Armleder and a student who trained with Francis Baudevin, Decrauzat is adding to the posterity of the Geometric Abstraction of Lausanne, along with a new generation of Swiss-Romand painters in the Neo-Geo (new geometrical) school of painting.

The artist has shown at numerous exhibitions around the world, notably at Geneva’s Centre d’art contemporain and the Swiss Institute of New York, as well as the Secession in Vienna and Haus Konstruktiv in Zurich.