Dominique De Beir

1964 | Rue, France
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Dominique  De Beir — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

© Photo: Anne de Beir

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— Dominique De Beir

French painter.

Dominique De Beir’s work since the mid-1990s, after she graduated from the École nationale des beaux-arts, has been defined by one specific gesture: punching holes – as indicated in Trou type, the title of the book that the artist designed and published in 2010 with Friville, the publishing house she founded that year. The holes are made using tools that Dominique De Beir has regularly presented, and which she creates in collaboration with artisans (like the ones she named Outils de ma passion [Tools of my passion]) or simply collects (often on the occasion of residencies and travels, and in relation to specific crafts, such as textile, farming, and domestic activities). The onset of the perforation, which can be violent, is made horizontally, often at the back of media that have been discarded, either because of their nature (paper or Styrofoam wrappings) or their contents (sports magazines or TV guides), or because they have fallen into disuse (stamp albums, accounting sheets). The holes produce abstract pictures at the front of the medium – specks or scratches. They are designed to be consistent with a variety of fields: series; books, which have been present since the artist’s first major exhibition in 1996 at the FRAC Picardie in Amiens; structures akin to architecture – the installations she began designing in the 2000s (such as Illuminazione at the Maison de la culture in Amiens, 2005); or objects (she has used curtains, screens, looms, and Jacquard punched cards, making textile a consistent part of her work, as shown at the Kerguéhennec art centre in 2012 and Jean Fournier Gallery in Paris, 2016).

One particular experience with textile became a starting point for her entire output: learning batik techniques (wax-resist dyeing) in Senegal, where she was invited by the French cultural centre in 1997. This learning process followed her attempt to study Braille when her father lost his sight in 1995. She also made some significant acquaintances during these years: Pierre Buraglio, then a teacher at the Beaux-Arts, introduced her to Pierrette Bloch, whose minimalist work struck her because of Bloch’s use of paper, repetitive gestures, and connection with writing. Like them, Dominique De Beir considers herself a painter, in that her relationship to the plane is similar to theirs. Much like a painter’s work, Dominique De Beir’s surfaces always face the viewer, like mediums for exchange, skins or eyes that encourage touching, yet do not authorise it. This relationship to painting, which echoes other pieces, such as Simon Hantaï’s randomly painted pictures, is even more visible in her most recent works shown at the Fournier Gallery, and in which colour plays an major role (at the front, rather than at the back of the surface). Their original delicateness (the lace effect of the holes, which become constellations as the light plays through them), in contrast with the salvaged materials from which they are made, now comes with a more distinct sense of confusion, perhaps in echo of the context, which the artist acknowledges when she says she is “not one for clarity” (conversation with the author at the artist’s studio, 2017) – the gritty texture of the heated surfaces and instability of her assemblages bring to mind literary works marked by doubt and the pattern of falling, from Samuel Beckett to Kōbō Abe.

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Lucile Encrevé

© 2018, Archives of Women Artists, Research and Exhibitions


© Archives of Women Artists, Research and Exhibitions
Dominique  De Beir — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Dominique de Beir, Braille, 2008, paint and perforations on braille paper, 32 x 20 cm, © ADGAP, Paris

Dominique  De Beir — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Dominique de Beir, Altération, 18 April 2015, paint, wax, impacts, polystyrene, unknown dimensions, © Photo: Alberto Ricci / galerie Fournier, © ADGAP, Paris

Dominique  De Beir — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Dominique de Beir, Altération, 27 May 2015, paint, wax, impacts, polystyrene, 33 x 23 x 3 cm, © Photo: Alberto Ricci / galerie Fournier, © ADGAP, Paris

Dominique  De Beir — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Dominique de Beir, Altération, LaTannerie, 2016, installation, unknown dimensions, © ADGAP, Paris

Dominique  De Beir — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Dominique de Beir, Série altération (7), paint, wax, impacts, polystyrene, © Photo: Alberto Ricci / galerie Fournier, © ADGAP, Paris

Dominique  De Beir — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Dominique de Beir, Atelier en Picardie, 2016, black and white photograph, © Photo: Dominique de Beir, © ADGAP, Paris

Dominique  De Beir — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Dominique de Beir, Atelier, outils, 2016, coloured photograph, © Photo: Dominique de Beir, © ADGAP, Paris

Dominique  De Beir — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Dominique de Beir, Des Blancs en suspens, 2005, installation, pierced cardboard, dimensions, © Photo: Laurent Lecat, © ADGAP, Paris

Dominique  De Beir — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Dominique de Beir, Face n° 5, 2008, wax and piercings on paper, 40 x 60 cm, © ADGAP, Paris

Dominique  De Beir — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Dominique de Beir, Fenêtre Kerguehennec, 2012, paraffin wax, impacts, paper, 390 x 250 cm, © Cuisset, © ADGAP, Paris

Dominique  De Beir — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Dominique de Beir, Il fait grand Bleu, 2007, collage, impacts, cardboard, 196 x 150 x 3 cm, Courtesy Galerie Jean Fournier, © Photo: N. Pfeiffer, © ADGAP, Paris

Dominique  De Beir — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Dominique de Beir, Outils-chaussures, 2004, shoes made by Karine Bonneval, © Photo: Ph.Bétrancourt, © ADGAP, Paris

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