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Georges Rousse
  • Artist (1947)

Georges Rousse, who was born in 1947 in Paris, is both a painter and a photographer. It is the combination of these two activities which produces complex works where the calculations, reflection, and intellectual and visual dimension of the work are not subject to any economy. Starting out as an architectural photographer in Nice, Rousse settled in Paris in 1976, where he worked in a laboratory. The approach that he adopted in the early 1980s had to do with in situ interventions in decrepit and dilapidated buildings. The introduction of painted figures and forms based on a final viewpoint which would be that of the photographic lens conveyed an illusion which, through the final ruin of places used, remains, because of the single Cibachrome print made by the artist. These trompe-l’oeil works, with their brilliant technical performances presuppose a perfect mastery of the laws of Albertian perspective. Distributed on the different walls of the space, the drawing does away with the real depth, replacing it with the frontality of a geometric form or a figure whose verisimilitude is confirmed by the viewpoint frozen in the image. But the photograph is not a snapshot which captures reality, rather it is the means of revealing a paradoxical world of fiction, and an illusion of places. By mixing architecture, painting, sculpture, installation, graphic design and photography in his oeuvre, Georges Rousse transforms and sometimes deconstructs space through figures and words. As he himself puts it: “For me, this work is a chance to alter reality one last time and preserve a memory of those disappearing architectures. I am touched by that ephemeral moment during which a building has lost all functionality, just before disappearing.” A resident at the Villa Médicis in Rome (1985-1987), winner of the International Center of Photography prize (New York, 1988) and of the Grand Prix National de la Photographie (1993), Georges Rousse succeeded Sol LeWitt as an associate member of the Royal Academy of Belgium in 2008.

Nadine Labedade