gaël darras

Lives and works in Nantes (Fr.). Gaël Darras is graduated from the Art School of Nantes Métropole (2014). In 2019, he also followed an illumination training at CITIL (International Center for the Traditions of the Image of Light).

Paint a wall

From the pattern of brick, a unit that is tirelessly repeated, Gaël Darras uses watercolors to build architectural spaces in a minimalist style. Its buildings, devoid of any functionality, are devoid of spatial contextualization and precise time markers – they take us to a distant antiquity as much as they evoke our contemporary masonry. They float in the matrix whiteness of the paper, parts of which are left blank, like virtual volumes, mirages emerging from a blinding desert. These constructions do not inhabit, do not penetrate each other: they are walls. They show as much as they conceal, pushing the gaze to seek beyond. Their borders send us back to our privacy, like “inner temples” whose front door is kept secret.

The systematic use of iron oxide as a pigment (the very one that gives brick its red color) deploys a monochrome and contemplative universe where each brick vibrates with a particular density. Gaël uses tools common to both the architect and the painter (cavalier perspective, vanishing point, ruler, compass, square) and is interested in different traditions and techniques of image composition. He draws in particular from the symbolic geometry inherited from the illuminators of the Middle Ages (golden proportions, dynamic rectangles, polygons, etc.) and from the history of the fresco, from the Pompeian villas to the chapels of the Italian primitives.

At different scales of his work, a modular principle is reiterated which proceeds from the fragment and the matrix. The accumulation of bricks draws the shapes, the tight framing alternates with the overall views, the images are cut out and assembled in polyptychs. As if pushed by a continuous rewriting of the myth of Babel, Gaël Darras, in a constant repetition of gesture, motif and subject, seems to explore the contours of one and the same imaginary monument.

2021
Allons, faisons des briques et cuisons-les au feu !,  Robet Dantec Gallery, Belfort
Quadrature, with Octo-Verso, Angers 

2020
Espace Mira, with Leah Desmousseaux, Nantes

2018
Locus in aliore loco, with Leah Desmousseaux at CAPRA, Allonnes
En réalité je n’ai trouvé que du sable, at the Alain Lebras’s studio,  Nantes

2017
Edmond Multiples and éditions, at the Ateliers Millefeuilles, Nantes 

2021
Luxembourg Art Week – The Fair (in november), with Robet Dantec Gallery, Luxembourg
Les solitudes, at The Temple du Goût, Nantes 

2020
émergences #2, Galerie Robet Dantec, Belfort

2019
Contre Forme à l’Atelier, invité par MPVite, à Nantes

2018
De la zone humide ou naissent les image à Open school gallery, ESBANM, à Nantes
Dernier rite au Grand Atelier, Maison de quartier Madeleine Champ de Mars, à Nantes

2016
Présentation d’une pièce à l’exposition Do It du Frac des Pays de la Loire à la HAB Galerie à Nantes

2015
Archiculture à Millefeuille à Nantes

2014
Publication d’un travail personnel dans le magasine Kiblind, suivi d’une exposition collective au Point Éphémère à Paris
Short Cuts à la galerie Short à Nantes

 2020
Finaliste of the 10th Prix Jeune Création of the Atelier Blanc and The Moulin of the Arts, Saint-Rémy
Residence at the Collectif BLAST, Angers

2019
bourse d’Aide Individuelle à la Création de la DRAC Loire Atlantique
2e place du Prix Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne pour l’Art contemporain pour une pièce réalisée en collaboration avec Leah Desmousseaux 

Art Delivery, artothèque de l’École des Beaux-arts de Nantes
Artothèque de la Médiathèque du Pays d’Héricourt

art works