WORKS ON PAPER
YVES ZURSTRASSEN AT WORK
From an interview with Johan Frederik Hel Guedj for L'Echo, Zurstrassen said of his process:
"I start small and then scale up. Small shapes, I fail, I rip up, before moving onto larger canvas. I love opposites. Similar to jazz, improvisation is crucial! Sometimes it feels like you are not the one painting!''
When the work is finished, he takes it out of the studio, "where I do not truly see it," and moves it into another room. ''Here, I can take a step back. Not to indulge myself. I destroyed many paintings. An artwork is meant to leave, to travel, to be shared. We only appreciate our own country once we leave it.''
Yves Zurstrassen currently lives and works in his birthplace of Brussels. Since 1993 numerous galleries have presented his work at international art fairs such as ART Basel, ART Brussels, ARCO Madrid, and FIAC Paris, however his first North American show was in Montreal at Galerie Dominion.
Eschewing the implementation of concrete images, Zurstrassen maintains the concern of painting as a manifestation through the history of art itself. In the early 1980s, Zurstrassen began examining the work of his artistic precedents and colleagues. His investigation of the painting process came through the scrutiny of Tachism or Abstract Expressionism as found in the work of Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning and Hans Hofmann.
By 2002, he gradually introduced pure colour into his work, further employing collaged elements by cutting up his paintings and inserting portions of them into new compositions. His preoccupation with spatial depth and movement has resulted in the employment of the ‘décollage’ technique, which is the process of applying cut-out elements and treating them as stencils. After painting over the cut-out shapes, they are carefully removed, thereby building multiple textured layers which create an optical pulsation across the canvas. Zurstrassen’s paintings on display at Galerie Dominion represent a selection of his most recent work. These pieces enliven the gallery space through vibrant colour and erratic forms, infusing the atmosphere with what art authorities have labelled a ‘new abstraction’.
As well as having had numerous solo and group exhibitions over the years, Zurstrassen has participated in a public exhibition at the Musée d’Art Moderne et Contemporain Liège. Zurstrassen has been a major presence in the international market and is represented by galleries in Paris and Madrid, among others.