Musée des Arts Contemporains de la Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles

Peter Downsbrough

FROM TO - Amateurs' room cycle, n°11.

In collaboration with the S.M.A.K. of Ghent, the Museum is organising a travelling exhibition of the numerous postcards - nearly 400 listed - which Peter Downsbrough has been creating since the 1980s, and of which nearly 250 have been sent to friends or acquaintances. The creation process is simple: on existing tourist postcards, linked to sites which are often towns, the American artist places straight lines and letters, sometimes cut or reversed, using a Letraset type dry transfer sheet, so that our perception, our identification and our reading of the space are changed. This exhibition, which will also include an installation of the artist created specifically for the Grand-Hornu, and which will be held at the same time in the two Belgian Museums, will be accompanied by a book dedicated to this particular, and less well-known, aspect of his work, near the Mail Art.     

A leading figure in contemporary art, whose appeal comes from the economy of his means of expression as much as from their formal differences, Peter Downsbrough is an artist whom critics, as well as the public, have, for a long time, had trouble placing. Working since the early 1970s in the wake of minimalism, at the crossroads of conceptual and concrete art, Peter Downsbrough owes his international reputation to the extreme coherence of an artistic system based on the idea of position and composition. If it all started with the famous Two Poles and Two Pipes which marked, with two parallel vertical lines, the first sites and architecture, his reflection on space like places, distances, situations, territories, contexts or languages, was followed by the Wall Pieces and the Room Pieces, designed with tubes and black adhesive, in tape or lettering, depending on whether he needed lines or words. Composition, symmetry, perspective, polarity are all aspects of the look which his numerous practices use: sculpture, photography, public commission, books, films and even sound pieces.

The exhibition of the S.M.A.K. open on 11/09/2016. More info