«…like a demonstration that the formation process itself is already immanent in the final form…».
Sébastien de Ganay
Häusler Contemporary presents at Haus 2226 Austria based artist Sébastien de Ganay whose aesthetically appealing works confront us with questions about perception, about space and time. As an example of his innovative approach the gallery shows the major work series of the «Folded Flats» which playfully invites the public to mental participation.
Sébastien de Ganay (*1962, Boulogne-Billancourt, FR, lives in Bad Deutsch-Altenburg, AT) is one of today’s most innovative representatives of experimental painting and sculpture. He creates works that range in between the artistic genres of picture, relief and sculpture and sometimes close to design. They thus question our perception and categorizations in general and activate the public’s mental involvement.
The «Folded Flat» series that the artist continually developed in the past three years, takes a crucial role within his whole oeuvre and os representative for his artistic approach: the relief-like wall pieces made of monochrome or bicolored aluminum plates were folded in the manner of origami. They have a playful attitude about them and are evocative not only of «shaped canvasses», but also of everyday paper folding. At the same time, this comparison is subverted by the sculptures’ apparently stiff material. Yet we inevitably imagine the gesture that led to the artwork, and this participatory impulse is just what de Ganay aims for.
The folding gestures especially appear in the mind’s eye when facing a sequence of five objects that visualize the gradual folding process of an aluminum sheet that was plane at first. With this ensemble, the artist references Eadweard Muybridge, the famous pioneer of chronophotography who investigated motion sequences of men and animals. De Ganay on the other hand explores our «mental agility» and confronts us with «stills of sculpted time» (de Ganay).
The new «Flip Flop Folded Flats» are varnished with interference paint, which makes them shimmer magically and us interacting not only mentally but also physically: we have to move in front of them to discover the whole palette of tones that are contained in them.
Finally, the «non-place» floor sculptures again challenge our imagination: two aluminum replica of cardboard boxes are telescoped in such a way that they merge seamlessly where they meet. A virtual space emerges from this transition zone that never quite reveals itself to the viewer. It is bare of distinct contours – it is a «non-place». The small-scale objects’ title already indicates that this indefinable zone is charged with metaphorical value: de Ganay thus refers to our globalized world’s «non-places» as named by anthropologist Marc Augé in 1992 – shopping malls, highways, airports, waiting rooms. These places all are characterized by a short-term and unsteady meeting of diverse realities, they are bare of identity.
Sébastien de Ganays works on view at Haus 2226 visualize different spatio-temporal questions that are stimulated by geopolitical, art historical and social contexts. The artist manages to condense these complex subjects with surprisingly fresh gestures, creating aesthetically appealing works that invite us to a joyful dialogue.
Deborah Keller, Häusler Contemporary
Sébastien de Ganay studied political science and art at Columbia University in New York and he is co-founder of the art book publishing company Onestar Press. His work is regularly presented in solo shows at galleries in Germany, Austria, France, England and Argentina. He also participated in group shows of major institutions such as the Landesmuseum Niederösterreich in St. Pölten or the Centre Pompidou in Paris.
In 2014, the Institut Français in Vienna presented and extensive solo exhibition of Sébastien de Ganay, and in 2017 he realized for Kunsthalle Krems’ first exhibition at the former Dominican church an overall installation that got wide recognition and that was accompanied by a first major monograph of the artist’s work.