top of page



Galerie Bacqueville is pleased to present Laurent Delecroix's first solo show. Navigating between painting and installation, the artist works on the perfect dose and gesture that imperceptibly make color or volume appear or disappear.  

Threshold effects

An exhibition that brings together kitchen furniture, a scuba tank, a plant... This list of objects might seem incongruous, or even evocative of an installation, freed from the practice of painting. And yet, it's all about painting, about what painting "can" and "does" in today's world.

First of all, Laurent Delecroix's works follow an extremely precise protocol, which we might be tempted to relate to his professional background in pharmaceutical laboratories. Within the production process, the act of painting is not denied, still less obliterated, but carefully circumscribed in gesture, form and color. For example, in paintings that show a transition from white to color, the monochrome hue is chosen from a strictly limited palette. A rule of proportionality determines the relationship between format, quantity of paint and brush. The result is work titles that resemble chemical formulas, precisely describing the protocol for their production.


In this way, painting becomes a repetitive act of passing through color, which, through repetition, erases itself. This self-effacement of the pictorial gesture tends to suppress its materiality (how is it made?) and its corollary, the artist's expressivity (what does it mean?), in favor of a quest to reduce painting to the perception of painted color and its meditative potential. But to this, we must immediately add that this pure sensation of color meets, in each work, the material construction of this sensation: the object that makes it present in a given place and time. The paintings are assembled in the exhibition space or take on the format of kitchen cabinet doors, the plaster on the wall gives rise to a form. In this way, painting - that mental thing that gives itself through the sensation of color - is placed in tension with the object that supports it, which in turn is placed in relation to other everyday objects.


The choice of monochrome could place Laurent Delecroix's approach in the tradition of Radical Painting artists such as Marcia Hafif and Günter Umberg, who, in the early 1980s, focused on the experience of color. But whereas for the latter, the painting is the condition for this experience - Günter Umberg even goes so far as to give it a slightly concave shape to better focus the viewer's gaze inside the support - Laurent Delecroix brings this experience into play in the relationship between the object and the exhibition space. In so doing, he puts painting at its limits: how far can we still experience it? This question renews both the reduction of painting and the critical gesture of modernity.


Indeed, Laurent Delecroix's approach reveals a singular awareness of the history of abstraction. The Ikea kitchen cabinet associated with the painting could easily be linked to a history that includes Russian Constructivism of the 1920s - with the overcoming of painting in the functional object - and Donald Judd's volumes of the 1960s. The neutrality of the gesture could recall the work of Buren, Mosset, Parmentier and Toroni in 1967. Laurent Delecroix's works summon up these references without, however, reducing themselves to them or indulging in a game of quotations, for they are different in each case. They confront the reduction of painting at work in the various abstract avant-gardes (flat surface, primary colors, shapes deduced from format...) with the objects that surround us. The modernist critique of the painting meets the standardization of objects, which are, in the case of the Ikea kitchen, themselves offshoots of modernist design. The reduction of painting to itself leads to its outside, to the banality of everyday forms, from the pure to the impure.


The result of this transition is not the disappearance of painting, but its existence on this boundary, on the threshold of banality or, to use a term dear to Marcel Duchamp, in an "infra-thin". The monochrome painting is associated with a plant whose graphic forms and natural presence contrast with the artificiality of the colored surface. A simple device inspired by the organ produces a sound vibration using the air in the scuba tank. The painting becomes sound and lets us hear the song of a nightingale. In an earlier work, the sound corresponded to a note that organists call the "celestial way". From the material to the immaterial, painting is the expression of a passage from the concrete to the mental. In the exhibition, two spaces are superimposed: that of the kitchen - with its furniture, decorative plant, chiming "clock" and paintings arranged like picture windows - and that of the painting. A painted inspection hatch inlaid in the wall marks the passage from one space to the other. The kitchen, like the laboratory, is ultimately a place of transformation, and perhaps this is what it's all about: Laurent Delecroix's works create a very slight disruption of the senses, a disturbance, a seesaw, from which emerges a rearrangement of perception and of our relationship to the world through painting. - Romain Mathieu, art historian and critic

Solo show. 4 July - 31 July 2024

Opening on Thursday 4 July 2024, 6.30pm - 9.30pm
With the presence of the artist


Image above : Laurent Delecroix, Structure #3_V2, 2022. Brush-on fluorescent acrylic paint. Variable dimensions.

bottom of page