Stéphane Dafflon proposes a series of works originally created for his exhibition in Montevideo. SPLIT gathers a total of 13 paintings that expand in both spaces of the gallery.
Stéphane Dafflon’s paintings seem simple and minimalist at first, but attest to his strong pictorial skills. Initially designed on a computer screen and then copied out onto a canvas or wall, his paintings bear the markings of art history while cementing themselves as works with graphic design influences. They display smooth geometric shapes blended together in a variety of colours whose striking visual magnetism entices the eye.
“With a mouse and software programs, he was able to manipulate patterns freely and flexibly. He could take a rectangle, smoothen its edges, cut it up and manipulate it again. He could add colour, turn it this way and that, tilt it, rearrange the scale and the dimension. Shapes could be merged like molecules to form complex graphical objects.” – Jeff Rian, Stéphane Dafflon: Portrait, seven years on (Stéphane Dafflon, un portrait sur sept ans), 2007.
This is how Stéphane Dafflon’s work awakens our senses. As if he, in order to compose and create, uses music and its vibrations. A visual rhythm is generated through the composition of his paintings as well as the way he organizes them in their given space. In fact, it can remind us of Mondrian, and the way jazz music was the true generator of his famous painting Broadway Boogie Woogie. The unique experience of Stéphane Dafflon’s paintings can also be literally be experienced as a musical composition due to the delicate intercourse of the lines, displaying a rhythm onto the canvas. Incorporating arrangements of diverse patterns into his paintings allows the artist to reaffirm the foundations of abstract art: acting upon the spectator, is like asking him to change his perspective and views of the world.
The works of Stéphane Dafflon are created in situ; they are calibrated on the contingencies of their given space, adapting to coexist with their new environment. Sometimes, a wall fragments the work and, therefore, becomes part of it. In other occasions, the pieces merge into their surroundings giving a new identity and meaning to the architecture, as a path between the floor and the ceiling. The sharp shapes fade slowly, as if they were upset. The patterns are transformed into vibrating waves, echoing in the emptiness of their environment.
In SPLIT, the artist displays a series of stretched triangles that are associated under the clear influence of lights and shades, thus generating a feeling of volume on the canvas. This visual effect allows the viewer to perceive a clear notion of distance, which can be accentuated by the situation of the spectator in the exhibition space.