Harold T'Kint
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Jean DEWASNE

1921 - 1999
  • Works

  • Jean DEWASNE 1921 - 1999

    Dewasne dabbled in pointillism before taking up abstraction in 1943. Three years later, he was the first recipient of the Kandinsky Prize, named for one of his heroes and intended to honor a young practitioner of nonfigurative art. By this time, Dewasne had exhibited in Paris alongside like-minded senior artists like Jean Deyrolle, Hans Hartung, Jean Arp, Serge Poliakoff and Sonia Delaunay. Skeptical of the rhetoric separating geometric and lyrical, he founded the Atelier d'Art Abstrait in Montparnasse in 1950. Exploring what he termed the "technology of painting," based on chemistry, colorimetry, mathematics and the physiology of vision, he also championed the use of industrial materials, including alkyd paint, Isorel and sheet metal.

    The sculptures and paintings in "Antisculpture" exemplify the diligence and conviction with which Dewasne pursued his aesthetic project.

    Their cheerful, saturated palettes and formal rigor also recall Auguste Herbin who, like Dewasne, was born in northeastern France, a region known for its bleak industrial and agricultural landscapes.

    In all Dewasne's creations, traces of his hand are conspicuously absent. Their shimmering, hard-edge, viscerally plastic surfaces allow the viewer unadulterated access to numerous arresting visual rhythms, all of which underscore the staying power of abstraction.