Mammalian Fantasies, by Daniel Dewar & Grégory Gicquel
In the series of wooden sculptures Mammalian Fantasies, the Franco-British duo Daniel Dewar & Grégory Gicquel explores ancient techniques for sculpting wood, through murals and furniture decorated with organic, human and animal figures.
Daniel Dewar (born in 1976) and Grégory Gicquel (born in 1975) met at the École des Beaux-Arts in Rennes in 1998. Together they create sculptural objects, sometimes monumental in scale, which combine traditional techniques and varied figurative motifs: human bodies, cars and animals, as well as toilet cubicles, sinks, knitted sweaters, etc.
Year after year, the duo expands the field of possibilities: they incorporate many references to the history of crafts and art , and develop their own creative motifs and techniques. In 2012, they received the Prix Marcel Duchamp.
A hare, dozens of snails, a huge fish, pigs, a man lying in the pose of a recumbent effigy, recalling Christian funerary art, etc. The sculptures of Mammalian Fantasies draw humans and animals out of the raw wood. Sometimes a simple detail emerges from the material, such as a thumb, for example, or an impressive network of organic plumbing, wooden intestines realistic to the point of provoking disgust.
Through their sculptures, Daniel Dewar & Grégory Gicquel build a strange universe, where the grotesque mingles with the sensual.
Taking on wood
“There is no difference between the manufacturing process and the object,” says Daniel Dewar and Grégory Gicquel. For each exhibition or series of works, the two artists choose a material and take full possession of it. Since they began, the duo has worked in clay, stone and weaving... in Mammalian Fantasies they are taking on wood.
Whatever the materials, Daniel Dewar and Grégory Gicquel use traditional manufacturing techniques. Certain particularly ambitious or monumental sections require weeks of work.
Works on the road
Created for their first ever Swiss exhibition at the Kunsthalle in Basel, Mammalian Fantasies will be on display at the Contemporary Art Biennale in Lyon from 18th September 2019, at the city’s museum of contemporary art.
“Mammalian Fantasies” by Daniel Dewar and Grégory Gicquel, a solo exhibition presented at the Kunsthalle Basel in 2019, was supported by the Institut français as part of its scheme dedicated to individual exhibitions, which is one of its priorities for the visual arts.