Wednesday, 6 July 2011

DAMIEN DAUFRESNE Under the Volcano

Damien Daufresne’s drawings, done in charcoal and varied techniques, contain questions that the artist attempts to clarify himself through his works. “I believe that if I were capable of formulating the question, the drawings would not be there”, he said. - Is it finally the crux of all creation? – Also known for his photographic works and his reports notably in China and in South America, Damien Daufresne was laureate in 2003 of the Leica Prize for a photographic essay in response to James Joyce’s “Ulysses”. He regularly cooperates with publishing firms among which Fata Morgana, by contributing drawings and engravings for several books. Damien Daufresne was born in Paris in 1979. He lives and works in Berlin. Meeting at the booth of the Galerie Berthet-Aittouarès (Paris), at Art Elysées Paris.

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It is a series of thirteen drawings size 150 x 100 cm that I achieved these last two years, to which were added two previous drawings size 80 x 120 cm. I do not have a very abundant production for there are drawings like these that I work on for a very long time. In Berlin, I have a sufficiently large atelier to let them rest and to work on them later. This series bears a title in echo to Malcolm Lowry’s eponymous book (1947, editor’s note) and following a trip to Mexico. Seeing them under frames, presented and shown here for the first time allows me to go to something else. I was always coming back to it… Always posing this question, to which everyone can be confronted: “when is it finished?” These drawings are conceived as a sort of palimpsest: they build themselves the ones in relation to the others, in parallel or in depth. In this manner, they are almost endless. I have the impression now; of having said all there is to say on this series. But these drawings or the questions they try to formulate may come back differently? They may have already been there, in other works, without my realizing it? I do not yet have enough hindsight to be sure of having really finished, but I believe it. Let us say that we always have the impression of having done something new. And looking at the drawings that one has done previously, one can say no, it is always the same thing. There are nonetheless in my work, questions that develop progressively, whether it is by the tool, the format, the experience. They are posed in another way. Read more of the interview with Damien Daufresne on

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