Daniel Dezeuze is a historically important artist and amongst the most significant of the contemporary French scene. He has exhibited in many museums and galleries in France as well as throughout Europe and North America. After many years of fruitful contact it was time for the musée Fabre to pay homage to the career of an artist who had not yet had a personal exhibition in the museum.
An innovative artist
Born in 1942 in Alès (Gard, France), Daniel Dezeuze spent his youth in Montpellier where he studied at the School of Beaux-Arts. He was taught by his father, Georges Dezeuze, himself a teacher at the school. From 1956 he questioned painting through the creation of Collages on stamp paper or aluminium. Between 1961 and 1967, he travelled to Canada, Mexico and America where he discovered the work of the post-war abstract painters as well as the Indian and Nomadic cultures. On his return to France he moved to Paris and began his true artistic career from 1967 with the Châssis series, which bore witness to his research, in keeping with plastic concerns of the époque, knowingly deconstructing supports and traditional painting materials.
After 1968 he was one of the founding members of the group Supports/Surfaces and the following year, alongside Vincent Bioulès, Louis Cane and Marc Devade he created the magazine Peinture, Cahiers théoriques, which was a work of reference for the group and the critical debate of the times. They all worked on the “deconstruction” of the canvas, accepted as much as an object in its own right. They emphasised the materialism of their works, the importance of the creative process and questioned pictorial idealism. “There is nothing more than you see”, wrote Daniel Dezeuze about his work (Textes et notes, 1967-1988, artist’s writings, ensb-a, Paris, 1991).
Daniel Dezeuze claims an art that isn’t immediately accessible to the public but which is constructed with them: “art is no longer this therapy administered as a sedative to a humanity judged to be fragile and sick, but a collection of questions formulated WITH the viewer, finally considered to be an active and healthy adult”, he wrote in Chauffe Marcel, FRAC Languedoc-Roussillon, isthme éditions, 2006.