Antoine Donzeaud

Born in 1985
Lives and works in Paris, France.

  1. De 10h à 4h du matin, Valentin, Paris. 2016.
  2. The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, Valentin, Paris 2014.

Biography (pdf / French)

The works of Antoine Donzeaud are reminiscent of a mental urbanisation which devises - according to the space, their architecture and their history - new layout plans. The artist’s paintings consist of broken windows and partitions left over from an abandoned, fictional habitat. Screens, frames, points of view: they are the depositories of coded writing. Hung vertically, they celebrate the beauty of decay. Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters is a novel written in 1955 by the writer J.D. Salinger. It follows the life of the Glass brothers who, when they were very young, were invited onto a radio show for gifted and grown up children with dramatic and unique destinies. The reference to the American fable in the project’s name affirms a sense of ownership over the imaginary tale where pictures become architecture or characters. They compose and draw the space in a physical sense, create openings, double spaces for perception and projection. The family saga left behind the domestic ruins of a drama that Antoine Donzeaud selects and recovers, and restores the remains. The rehabilitation of the forgotten reminds us of the series «Zuma», developed in 1977 by the American artist John Divola: painting works on the walls and windows of the abandoned houses on the west cost of the United States that he then photographs. The themes repeated and integrated in the architecture of these ancient villas on Zuma Beach suggest the social breakdown and failure. With these references the artist weaves a subtle balance between creation and destruction, demonstrating the use of a vocabulary which is always contradictory. The window opens up the space - the wall restricts, cuts and sculpts - the canvas sheet separates and protects - the frame standing or leaning against the wall - the canvas is folded or opened out - the gesture is both pictorial and sculptural at the same time. All of the elements of this composition are shaped and face each other, superimpose and are shown opposite one another in a set which is set up according to the resurgence, the fragility, the autonomy, the clarity and the opacity of each object. Standing in the space, near to and visible through the broken windows are anthropomorphic forms, rising up in front of several bent, concealed portraits. They too are spectators to this modern vandalism, new strategies of seduction, the full size display a fantasy of decay.