French affair
Published: Sep 21, 2011 09:18 AM Updated: Sep 21, 2011 10:00 AM

 Some of the paintings on display at the Dialogue Space. Photos: Courtesy of Dialogue Space

It is not French painter Marc Desgrandchamps' first Chinese exhibition, but it is perhaps his most meaningful. Art lovers, critics and collectors have appreciated his paintings during the past few years. But this time, his debut solo show in China is particularly special.


One of the most noted European painters of the modern era, Desgrandchamps' latest exhibition, which opened last Saturday and runs to October 23, includes several new paintings at Beijing's Dialogue Space in Chaoyang district.


"The whole project comes from the curator, Amy Li's, efforts and hard work. It is a great chance for me to communicate with Chinese collectors and artists," said Desgrandchamps, who hails from the Rh?ne-Alpes region of southeast France.


Before coming to Beijing, the Paris Municipal Museum of Modern Art showcased some of Desgrandchamps' works, including portraits of figures against animated backgrounds. Desgrandchamps captures the beauty of everyday life without challenging people's own individual definitions of beauty. In many natural scenes, the artist's creative eye often finds something unique to the surrounds.


Viewing his paintings, those with an appreciation for art will find his flowing strokes offer a dimly discernible and impressionist effect. The foggy reappearance of daily life scenes loom as images captured in the twilight of time. Desgrandchamps' latest works usher in a new era of his artistic career. The figures and shapes of his paintings fade, dwindle and disappear among the background eerily seamlessly. "Fixing that which escapes could be a description of what is inscribed on the surface of my paintings. This is not an act of preservation, but rather an attempt to restore to visibility a burst of reality," he explained.


Some of the paintings on display at the Dialogue Space. Photos: Courtesy of Dialogue Space 
Some of the paintings on display at the Dialogue Space. Photos: Courtesy of Dialogue Space


As a self-confessed fan of photography, Desgrandchamps likes to take photos when traveling around the world.


One painting at his show is inspired by a photo that he took two years ago when visiting the Forbidden City, although viewers could be hard pressed finding any trace to Beijing's ancient heart in the painting of two galloping horses against a backdrop of dark red walls.

"It was around dusk when I took the photo," he explained. "The Forbidden City turned into a unique shade of red under the sunlight, which I liked very much. I never imagined it would inspire a painting."


Visitors at the space can also find sheets of paper with ballpoint pen-drawn sketches by Desgrandchamps.


"They're not drafts, but copies of completed paintings. I will redraw paintings the same way in a notebook," he explained.


"It is like a process of rethinking or recreating. In some cases when sketching, I discover something new and then add it to the original painting."


Where: Dialogue Space, 22 International Art Plaza, 32 Baiziwan Rd, Chaoyang district.


When: Until October 23


Admission: Free


Contact: 5876-9392 or visit