Critics’ Picks




Philippe Decrauzat

Praz-Delavallade | Paris
5 rue des Haudriettes
January 7–February 18, 2006

In Philippe Decrauzat’s latest solo show, each of the young Swiss painter’s carefully manicured works glistens with a commitment to physicality; somewhat paradoxically, the vibrant colors and playful shapes hypnotize, seemingly offering an escape from the material world. KOMAKINO, 2005, an elegant wall work whose title references both a hypnotic Japanese dance and a song by Joy Division, wavers between academic abstraction and commercial design. Five drawings made on sixty-centimeter vinyl disks are placed over an elegant black-and-white frieze pattern, mobilizing youth culture to undermine the formality of Op art. Process, 2005, the show’s solitary sculpture, a slick black acrylic form inspired by a László Moholy-Nagy bench, finds redemption like that of the protagonist of Edwin Abbott’s relentlessly two-dimensional Flatland, ascending from an awareness of mere line into an experience of the true volume of space. In a city whose art world consists of the old-guard galleries of the eighth arrondissement and the hypermodern (government sponsored) contemporary art district surrounding the supersize book spines of Dominique Perrault’s Bibliothèque nationale, Decrauzat’s work embodies a bohemian desire to reframe art history with the wholly nonart subjects of modern theology and punk rock.