Modern Art presents a solo exhibition of new work by Nicolas Deshayes entitled Swans. This is his second solo exhibition with Modern Art.
Working primarily with various methods of industrial casting, Nicolas Deshayes’s sculptures tend to be hard, made from materials such as plastic, ceramic, vitreous enamel, aluminium or cast iron. Formally, however, his works reference soft, moving and malleable things; things that are alive and functioning. Recent works have operated as working metal radiators that pump water around a room, or water fountains in public ponds, while being formally suggestive of the interior of a body. Deshayes is concerned with turning the inside out. Plumbing systems that are usually hidden, both of the body – intestines, bowels – but also of the domestic and civic environment that carries its waste and keeps it clean, are central to his work.
Swans, Deshayes’s exhibition at Modern Art, is comprised of new sculptures made from glazed earthenware, fabricated using a slip-casting process in Veneto, Italy. Deshayes’s new works are reminiscent of traditional domestic washbasins in their forms and colouring, but they are also variably abstract and painterly, each with their own composition. Like vessels turned inside out, or bulging body parts, Deshayes’s sculptures in Swans play with positive and negative space, their proportions and smooth textures evoking the underbelly of a swan, hidden beneath the surface as it moves across glossy water.
Nicolas Deshayes lives and works in London and Dover. He was born in Nancy, France, in 1983. He completed an MA in Sculpture at the Royal College of Art in 2009 and a BA in Sculpture at Chelsea College of Art and Design in 2005.
Nicolas Deshayes’s work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at Battersea Park’s Pleasure Gardens, Pumphouse Gallery, London (2018); Basement Roma, Rome, Italy (2018); Fonderia Artistica Battaglia, Milan, Italy (2016); Glasgow Sculpture Studios, Glasgow (2015); Tate, St. Ives, Cornwall (2015); S1 Artspace, Sheffield (2013); His work has been included in group exhibitions at FRAC Grand Large, Dunkirk, France (2018); FRAC Ile de France, Chateau de Rentilly, Bussy-Saint-Martin, France (2018); Tate St Ives, Cornwall (2017); Drawing Room, London (2017); Inverleith House, Edinburgh (2016); Polish Institute, Berlin, Germany (2016); Eastside Projects, Birmingham (2016); Fridericianum, Kassel, Germany (2015); Leeds City Art Gallery, Leeds (2015); Kestnergesellschaft, Hannover (2014) and David Roberts Art Foundation, London (2014).Nicolas Deshayes, Swans, exhibition view, Modern Art, Vyner Street, London 12 January - 16 February 2019. Photo: Robert Glowacki. Courtesy Modern Art, London