Peter Downsbrough has examined language and constructed space since the mid 1960s. He leads a very personal and extremely thorough search which consists in structuring the space and creating discreet yet clearly visible volumes. He uses a refined plastics vocabulary, made from simple geometric figures, lines, words and painted surfaces.
His numerous artistic practices - sculptures, photographs, mural works, books, films, publications, sound works, urban space interventions - are based on the concept of position, sequence, interval and frame, and question the viewpoint. The combination of linguistic and geometric elements thus formalises spaces leading to a plethora of interpretations.
The exhibition presented at the Languedoc-Roussillon Regional Museum of Contemporary Art in Sérignan, the largest ever presented in France, will highlight the full extent of his work. Peter Downsbrough intervenes in the museum forecourt, then from the entrance through the bookshop and along the corridor to guide us around the exhibition space. He installs metal pipes that fall from the ceiling to graze the floor, hangs letters, and traces lines of black adhesive tape to create an astonishing sensation of volume while allowing the gaze to penetrate.
His process of optical cutting, refocusing, suggests a new understanding of the space. The scattered words, short speech (encore, là, et, vers,as, but, and...), encourage a search beyond the visual field. His interventions reveal open intervals which change according to the view point.
Several new sculptures with geometric forms, made using previously established construction principles, take on his concerns with the full and the empty, notions of situation and context.
An extensive set of his photographic series, presented mostly in the form of diptychs or triptychs, highlight the construction of urban space through his framing work.
A selection of his films explore the possibilities of the discontinuous and flows through the use of travellings and the variation of viewing angles.
The exhibition is supplemented by a presentation in the graphic arts exhibition room of his multiple prints and many books (he has produced101), in which the graphic and typographic arrangements always derive from the same mechanisms
Architect by training, Peter Downsbrough was born in 1940 in NewBrunswick (USA). Lives and works in Brussels (Belgium).From his debut in 1969, he has participated in numerous exhibitions in Europe and the USA.
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