Nicolas Deshayes‘Gargouilles’ at Modern Art

French artist from Nancy, Nicolas Deshayes is the subject of a new marvellous exhibition at Modern Art running until 17th September 2022.

The artist explores installations resonating with ideas of bodily landscapes, surfaces and materiality. The spectacular ‘bijou works’ oscillate between the abstract and the figurative. They look almost like edible-looking sculptures and manage to convey the soft, the wet of flesh in hard, cold, and mechanically produced textures using extreme heat to come to the world. Through his artistic process, molten metal rapidly hardens into a solid form, and the resulting works magically reminisce of human bodies, as well as domestic and planetary environments.

Gargouilles, includes a body of small-scale patinated bronze sculptures produced between 2021 and 2022 in the Auvergne, France’s volcanic region. “Atmospheres of the underworld, narratives of the devil, severed heads, metalwork, hot springs and charcuterie production – fact and folklore associated with the region – are imbued in the genesis of these works made there, which are at once comic and dark and serious.” the official literature on the show says.

“Appearing first in the exhibition is the largest work, Gargamel, taking its name from the misanthropic wizard from the Smurfs. By way of this introduction, the rest of the works take on a Smurf-like quality, being ​‘no more than three apples tall’, and full of animation, quirk and character despite being what they are – a group of cold, hard, metal forms.”

This third exhibition by the artist now based in Dover, UK, presented by Stuart Shave is a must-see.