Time & Space Transcendence


In these works, Stéphane Ducret merges his interest in the Beat Generation culture, the hipster & hippie life, psychedelic rock and his appreciation of postwar painting, particularly the work of Mark Rothko. He approaches the landscape as a reflection of the society obsessed with time, speed and yet willing to slow down to a calmer way of living.

The paintings are filled with light and yet remain impenetrably dark. They reflect the influence of Abstract Expressionism, postwar German Expressionism and American Color Field Painting.

Time and Space Transcendence features a series of brand new paintings which all continue Stéphane Ducret’s extensive experiments with abstraction and space. Through oil painting on canvas, he seeks to explore the possibility of overcoming the perceived challenges of physical and natural space, translating this into his work while stretching the boundaries beyond the immediate and conventional way one looks at things.

These new paintings are a fresh and thorough dive into Ducret’s method he already used for his Howl series where oil paint diluted by turpentine is directly applied with pieces of cloth on the canvas. In a physical, deliberate, energetic and nevertheless highly controlled gesture, he gives vibrant textures to the work. The paintings open new perspectives in his ongoing research in abstraction and process, and in the possibility of extending themselves in a spiritual dimension through the painted lines. They proudly bear the marks of their making, so that the artist’s hand is readily visible in the final result. The paint is wiped and applied in sweeping gestures from one side to the other of the large canvasses. Interspersed between these large paintings, a series of medium-size and small works punctuate the exhibition space confronting constantly the viewer with a size shift.

Of the disparate forms in Ducret’s practice, the abstract paintings are the most recurrent. His most recent and large color field canvases invite an active, physical and intellectual engagement with the viewer and yet they try to remain open to interpretation. The paintings included in the Time & Space Transcendence series carry French physician Etienne Klein’s philosophical considerations on the multifaceted definitions of time. Their titles refer directly to the lyrics of the artist’s preferred songs by psychedelic rock heroes David Bowie, The Doors, Janis Joplin, The Velvet Underground, The Animals, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, The Black Keys, etc.

Philosophically, Ducret’s art is going further towards what hippies retained more about the Beaten Generation: bliss… a sort of religion of universal love and of a link with nature. He is now trying to reach a particularly sensitive spiritual dimension. The artist would like to speak to the mind and the senses and bring the public to a sweet, sensual and deep transcendence.

Ducret’s interest in opening the paintings to a wide range of associations is further expanded in this work by adding to his new investigation the relationship between process and painted imagery. Through process, technique, scale, composition and imagery, the artist accentuate the tensions in the act of painting, the construction of a picture, its physical attributes, the visual experience of looking at it and the possibilities of playing with and pushing open the origins of its meanings. The Time and Space Transcendence paintings are the harmonious capture of a metaphysical moment.