At Dilecta, art publishing projects are carried out as an extension of books, with the idea of the enjoyment of cultivating ways of printing, the forms of the multiple and, of course, the meaning given to representation, which changes from piece to piece. The three artists invited to take part in this exhibition cycle - Nicolas Daubanes, Thomas Houseago and Mircea Suciu - each present extremely different works, but they all come together through the questions raised by the creation of a “series”.

View of the exhibition SERIES, ACT 3 : Tumulte, by Nicolas Daubanes. © Nicolas Daubanes, courtesy Dilecta / photo : Nicolas Brasseur

Nicolas Daubanes proposed a drawing that becomes a multiple. He chose the design of a forest in the Vercors, a place of memory inhabited by tall trees of contrasting hues, the scene of violent historical scenes. The drawing was produced using a technique that he is very familiar with: "I start by placing a vinyl stencil on a glass surface, then I sand a piece of iron with an angle grinder, and the burning sparks weld themselves to the gaps in the stencil, creating the pattern. The technique I've developed is the result of DIY mistakes. Each piece is unique.” For this project, Nicolas Daubanes prepared around fifteen stencils and added to each one a phrase taken from the readings that fuel his work: "These words are like a dialogue that could have been spoken in this forest. It's a new way for him to reflect on, and divert from, the practice of the multiple.

View of the exhibition SERIES, ACT 1 : Vision Paintings, by Thomas Houseago. © Thomas Houseago, courtesy Dilecta / photo : Nicolas Brasseur

For Thomas Houseago, Dilecta's invitation was an opportunity to create a variation on his 'Vision Paintings' series. Through halos of colored light, the eyes, nose, and mouth of a skull gradually emerge over the course of the plates. Known for his sculpture, he began painting following his exhibition at the Musée d'Art Moderne in Paris in 2019, with a meditative, quasi-therapeutic dimension. For his silkscreen, he used three shades of grey and golden yellow, specially produced for the occasion from the acrylic ink of the original drawing. The strokes of color are underlined by embossing, and highlights of bright paint have been added. These decisions were the fruit of formal and technical conversations with the publishing teams.

View of the exhibition SERIES, ACT 2 : Mother, by Mircea Suciu. © Mircea Suciu, courtesy Dilecta / photo : Nicolas Brasseur

Mircea Suciu has chosen an original drawing as a tribute to his recently deceased mother. This is not a portrait. He used the image of a very beautiful woman from the 1950s, which he discovered in the Library of Congress. This drawing was printed. At first, he wanted to add abstract geometric shapes in silkscreen. In the end, he projected spots of paint, each one different. "I use all sorts of tools, sponges, rags, to create layers and layers of material... These faces express both agony and ecstasy. I see in them an echo of a painting by Guido Cagnacci, The Death of Cleopatra (1645-1655), which is in the Frick Collection," he explains. Between life and death, joy and despair, the Baroque and everyday life come together. And the projection of paint comes close to the projection of the memory of his mother on these images of strangers. Produced by three artists with very different practices and destinies, these works have in common that they are, each in their own way, forms of vanity.

Anaël Pigeat