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Fabrice Gygi

Untitled, 2018
watercolor on paper
175.0 x 130.0 cm
After long exploring social control structures, Fabrice Gygi’s work took a more personal turn following his participation in the 2009 Venice Biennale. He gave up installations to focus on working with pure and abstract lines, which he creates in the fields of sculpture and watercolour at the same time.

His corten steel constructions, which still have a minimalist aesthetic, assume the appearance of either complex combinations of forms placed directly on the ground, or reliefs attached to the wall (Isabelle, 2019). By deliberately eliminating all curved or diagonal lines, Gygi is now exploring the path of strict geometry.

Devoid of any symbol, Gygi’s watercolours express their pure physicality in a play of opacity and transparency. Through long vertical and horizontal stripes painted freehand without any tape or ruler (Untitled, 2018-2019), the artist experiments with nuance effects achieved through the superimposition of layers of paint. The artist’s precision is equal to the risk he undertakes when attacking a canvas with no possibility of turning back. The regularity of the lines and the fluidity of the colours testify to a real performance in the creation of his life-sized works.

Through his watercolour practice, Gygi sets himself the challenge of a perilous exercise in the manipulation of an ever-broader paintbrush, stretching the limits of a traditionally contemplative and romantic technique that is accustomed to smaller formats. With his installation-sculptures, Gygi has often expressed a notion of control and tension that is perceptible here, no longer in the finished object, but in the very execution of the artistic gesture.
Fabrice Gygi, Untitled, 2018