AboutPraz-Delavallade is proud to welcome Mathieu Dufois into its team of artists and it is with great pleasure that we present his first exhibition “Une ombre qui jamais ne s’éteint”.
It is commonly accepted that drawing is the extension of an artist’s soul and, were this indeed true, the axiom would spontaneously bring the name of Mathieu Dufois to mind. How could it not when this young artist (born in 1984) is so truly inhabited by the philosophy of seeing? I recall a comparison of Wittgenstein’s in which the philosopher’s
and artist’s ambitions immediately and forcefully suggest that, from a visual perspective, the manner of apprehending the whole – this network of constellations or relationships – is to be found in an emphasis grounded in this accurate way of seeing.
Mathieu Dufois conveys his perception of the world with astonishing delicacy, imbuing it with multi-dimensional aspects in which volume combines with movement to push back the boundaries of visual language and impose its own means of expression in its place. The world is both a theatre of reality and a place of imagination and, in this first body of work inspired by Fayoum Oasis, Mathieu Dufois has chosen to illustrate this fact by working from a collection of images from his residency in Egypt from October to December 2018. “I am not interested in reproducing reality. I try to work with its echoes and reflections”, he explains. His art reveals its nature: it arises out of a desire to embody and to identify, one that results from his fascination with the images accumulated during his stay. “I wandered through scattered villages all over this land irrigated by the Nile and far from dense pockets of civilisation. The particular emotions I felt in these rural areas were caused by a very peculiar notion of the passing of time.” In these places time was held in check and frozen, calling its very reality into question. A shadowy simulacrum floated over everything, an opportune occurrence seeing that Dufois is endeavouring to find a form of expression born out of shadow, drawings printed by nature itself. By means of his daytime and nocturnal wanderings, he separated the shadows from the other elements bathed in light, reviving the visible with the help of the invisible. Do not however consider this as a contradiction, but rather as a passage between two hidden worlds, two stages on which the action takes place and all that remains is to seize it and be granted, in return, with a lasting system of perception.