Magazine article Artforum International

Daniel Dewar and Gregory Gicquel: Ecole Municipale Des Beaux-Arts

Magazine article Artforum International

Daniel Dewar and Gregory Gicquel: Ecole Municipale Des Beaux-Arts

Article excerpt

On the outskirts of Paris, in Gennevilliers, a UFO has crash-landed: a gigantic S/M manta ray, all studded and jagged, in a tangle of piercings, black rubber, sharp metal, and silicone messily applied with a spatula. A menacing nightmare with a strange and foreign beauty conceived by the Nantes/Paris duo Daniel Dewar and Gregory Gicquel. These two, both barely thirty, have erected the homemade into a methodology whose results are always perfect--painstakingly measured and finely tuned. Some of their early pieces, from 2002, resembled handcrafted readymades, carbon copies of Nike tennis shoes or BMX bike frames, whose aesthetic was somewhere between that of a neighborhood hardware store and an aisle full of glossy products from a multinational chain. There were electric guitars, too (but made of wood), as well as skateboards and motorcycle helmets in the Arts and Crafts style. In this workshop logic, they humorously repudiate the Duchampian notion of the readymade, which gives the artist the role of naming; their production reintroduces the "handmade" and all its attendant artistic know-how right back into the heart of the industrial chain.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Since then, while they have continued to produce semifigurative objects, like the wrought iron golf club, Big Bertha (all works 2006), also shown at Gennevilliers, which leans against a fireplace and, thus positioned, takes on the appearance of a poker, their sculptures have generally taken a more mysterious, almost Surrealist turn. …

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