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06 Jul 2008

Alain Séchas at the Musée Bourdelle, Paris

Alain Séchas: Centaure mourant 2.0, 2008
Photo: Florian Kleinefenn

Alain Séchas - Rêve Brisé


11 april - 24 august
Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

+33 1 49 54 73 73
+33 1 45 44 21 65

18, rue Antoine Bourdelle
F–75015 Paris

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Given carte blanche for this showing of his most recent works, Alain Séchas opted for working with exhibition space and different aspects of the Bourdelle œuvre.
His cat figure, which first made its appearance in 1997 in a protean mix of the comical and the absurd, has gone. Séchas is now focusing on ways of working that seem to have shelved funny drawings and anti-heroes in favour of efficacy of line - a change of course this exhibition testifies to via a sculpture and new drawings and paintings.
Dying Centaur 2.0, an electromechanical white polyester sculpture is not be found in the plaster cast room, next to Bourdelle's works. Using this avatar to appropriate the mythological Dying Centaur so dear to the master, Séchas pushes its movement to its culmination : made from the actual moulds used for the casting of the Bourdelle bronze, Dying Centaur 2.0 collapses, then rises again from its own ruins.
The Bourdelle original has been moved into adjacent premises ; nearby a clock, titled Gong, tells the time.
The succession of rooms making up the museum is devoted to groups of drawings and paintings using standard tools and media : pencil, pastel, markers, acrylic paint. Involving no preliminary drawing no enlargement, these works are created in real time using continuous rotation of the support ; they are characterised by a free use of line and colour and the disappearance of the figure and narrative.
Critérium, a group of pencil drawings on paper, mingles accumulations of broken lines - infinite variations on black, evocative of crystallisations and heavy swell - with other lines seething over a seemingly boundless surface.
Grigri, acrylic marker drawings on corrugated cardboard, and Gobelins, pastels on paper, use overlapping, overlaying, cracking and erasure of lines to archieve transparency effects.
The acrylic paintings on cardboard, such as Le Plaisir and Citronnelle, are the outcome of the same approach, with tangles, spurts and disappearances of lines – sketched or more assertively drawn – saturating a perfectly matt surface.