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Peter Downsbrough at La Verrière

In Place

Leading American and international contemporary artist Peter Downsbrough adopts an experimental approach, around three core themes: language, architectural space and time. As the guest of La Verrière in Brussels (his adopted home of 20 years), Downsbrough "tables" a resonant message…

Fondation d'Entreprise Hermès - Peter Downsbrough at La Verrière
© Fabien de Cugnac

Peter Downsbrough's installations draw on a radical architectural language, interacting with the spaces in which they are presented. Verticals, horizontals, obliques, slashes, defined territories and frontiers are his vocabulary of choice, in structures that fix ascending or descending lines, trace complete or truncated letters, sever a defined space. The letters reveal words: injunctions, conjunctions, verbs, adverbs…

At the centre of the exhibition at La Verrière, Peter Downsbrough installed a "table-sculpture" whose supporting feet formed the message "In Place". On the gallery walls a handful of words, a square, and strips of black adhesive tape form an original, minimalist, geometric ensemble. Completing the installation, a strictly limited edition of a pocketbook is based on a rigourous aesthetics: two lines, three sections - the 60th in a series begun in 1969.

Whether he is working in the context of a three-dimensional urban area, an exhibition space, or a book conceived as a "volume" in its own right, Peter Downsbrough examines the concept of language reconstructed in space. A way to create new meanings, perhaps? In the words of art critic René Denizot, this striking, semantically rich work "does not fulfil the expectation of art, rather it leaves it in a state of suspense."

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