Critics’ Picks

Right: “Nos lignes sous les obus toxiques” (Our Lines Under the Toxic Bombshells), 2012, graphite pencil, indian ink, pigment ink on paper, 41 1/4 x 91 1/8“. Left: “Nos lignes sous les obus toxiques” (Our Lines Under the Toxic Bombshells), 2012, graphite pencil, indian ink, pigment ink on paper, 41 1/4 x 91 1/8”.

New York

Dove Allouche

Peter Freeman, Inc.
140 Grand Street
February 27 - April 12

French artist Dove Allouche has a remarkable ability to renew his own language while remaining faithful to his original working methodology. His artmaking is based on graphic, chalcographic, and photographic techniques—particularly historical ones from the nineteenth century—that together result in visual manifestations rendered mostly in black-and-white tones and, at times, in color. The subjects that inspire him constitute a pretext for examining the effects that natural and artificial events produce on them, altering their structure and how they are perceived.

This is effectively demonstrated in the artist’s solo debut in the United States—Allouche, born in 1972, lives in Paris, where he had an extensive retrospective at the Centre Pompidou last year. Here, he presents nine works from his “Surplomb” (Overhang) series and two works each from his “Désublimation” (Desublimate) and “Sublimation” series, all 2013, all of which focus on Angel Falls in Venezuela, the tallest uninterrupted waterfall in the world. Allouche took photographic prints he made of the falls and then intervened with graphite and chemical agents, granting the images a suggestive plastic-pictorial effect based on an examination of their graphic and tonal qualities. This also occurs in two stereoscopic scenes of a battlefield from his series titled “Nos lignes sous les obus toxiques” (Our Lines Under the Toxic Bombshells), 2012. Here, Allouche reworked photographs from 1917, applying layers of ink, graphite, and colored pigments to prints of the images, continuing his study of light/shadow relationships.

The exhibition also includes two other groups of work: three pieces from “Les Fumeurs noirs” ( Black Smokers), 2010, a representation “in negative” of underwater abysses, executed using a calotype process, and twelve works from his 2013 “Granulations” series, in which the solar surface comes to life again thanks to the technique of physautotype, where the photographs are developed on silver plates using lavender essence diluted in alcohol. These images, destined to vanish in the future, barely emerge on the reflective surface and, like ephemeral apparitions, visually elaborate the concept of memory and time, a true leitmotiv in Allouche’s research.

Translated from Italian by Marguerite Shore.