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Selected Works

Fitzcarraldo, 2022

acrylic on canvas
120 x 90 cm.; 47 1/4 x 35 3/8 in.
Photo: Jack Hems

Nana, 2022

terracotta, sculpted and painted wood, in 2 parts
overall: 81 x 36 x 36 cm.; 31 7/8 x 14 1/8 x 14 1/8 in.
terracotta: 53 x 36 x 36 cm.; 20 7/8 x 14 1/8 x 14 1/8 in.
sculpted wood: 28 x 22 x 22 cm.; 11 x 8 5/8 x 8 5/8 in.
Photo: Jack Hems

O douano patreto, 2022

oil and acrylic on canvas
240 x 200 cm.; 94 1/2 x 78 3/4 in.
Photo: def image

‘These faces, these representations, bear different tones, representing different moods, spanning from joy to hatred and bravery, fear, and often sadness. These portraits are portraits of a moment, a time, an era. They are witnesses. They are portraits of the world I live in, of things I see and that I cannot express verbally. There is a sadness about the vision of the loss of control over nature, values and ideas. The message is that, even if one cries, one has to stay upright, stand up, and continue to exist.’

J. Demester, ‘Interview: Jeremy Demester’, filmed on the occasion of his solo exhibition at Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin, 2022

Retable de Ouidah, 2021

acrylic on canvas and sculpted wood
open: 240 x 480 x 6 cm.; 94 1/2 x 189 x 2 3/8 in.
closed: 240 x 240 x 13.5 cm.; 94 1/2 x 94 1/2 x 5 1/4 in.
Photo: Claudia Lederer

Passenger II, 2021

acrylic and oil on canvas
240 x 200 cm.; 94 1/2 x 78 3/4 in.
Photo: Claudia Lederer

Le pouvoir de Lissa, 2020

acrylic on canvas, in two parts
overall: 195 x 261 cm.; 76 3/4 x 102 3/4 in.
each part: 195 x 130.5 cm.; 76 3/4 x 51 3/8 in.
Photo: Charles Duprat

Temple des pythons, 2020

acrylic and embroidery on fabric
316.5 x 501.1 cm.; 124 5/8 x 197 1/4 in.
Photo: def image

Adé revenants (Egoun goun), 2019

sequin, appliqué and embroidery on fabric, in two parts
each: 146.5 x 146 x 103 cm.; 57 5/8 x 57 1/2 x 40 1/2 in.
Photo: def image

Les tartines de Suzanne, 2017

oil on canvas
230 x 160 x 3.2 cm
Photo: def image

Le retable de Weidingen, aka la fille du Diable, 2018

outside: paint on aluminium, steel
inside: oil on plywood
opened: 400 x 540 cm; 157 1/2 x 212 5/8 in.
closed: 400 x 270 cm; 157 1/2 x 106 1/4 in.
Photo: def image

For the exhibition hall in Weidingen, Demester presented an altar of an imposing scale that combines several techniques dear to the artist. When closed, the altar alludes to the artist’s series Vins d’Anjou. The metallic outer surface of Demester’s altar diffuses colour as opposed to canvases that tend to absorb it. The inside of the altar is covered by a vivid application of bright yellow, orange, red and blue paint. Reminiscent of flickering flames, the brushstrokes spread over the entire surface of the triptych, introducing the viewer to a dreamy, expressive landscape.

From left to right:

War painting I, 2017
hand-crafted acrylic paint on canvas
230 x 160 x 3.5 cm.; 90 1/2 x 63 x 1 3/8 in.
War painting IV, 2017
Hand-crafted acrylic paint on canvas
230 x 160 x 3.5 cm.; 90 1/2 x 63 x 1 3/8 in.
War painting III, 2017
hand-crafted acrylic paint on canvas
230 x 160 x 3.5 cm.; 90 1/2 x 63 x 1 3/8 in.
War painting II, 2017
hand-crafted acrylic paint on canvas
230 x 160 x 3.5 cm.; 90 1/2 x 63 x 1 3/8 in.

A language that is neither abstract nor figurative is employed by the artist in a series of paintings inspired by the patterns of war paintings of native American-Indian tribes. Using specific industrial and military painting techniques, Demester conceives each series as an experiment oscillating between building up a visual information and implementing the techniques of its subsequent distortion.

Le privilège des chemins, 2017

oil on canvas
230 x 160 x 3.5 cm;90 1/2 x 63 x 1 3/8 in.
Photo: def image

The works express a dialogue with figuration and natural elements, as well as with the personal history of the artist (memories from his childhood or from recent trips to Africa and America). These memories are embodied by sunrises and sunsets, forests and timeless moments between the past and the present, raising questions about the ideas of still-life and subjectivity.

Vin d’Anjou (mat) I, 2016

paint on aluminium, bronze
61.5 x 40.5 x 9 cm.; 24 1/4 x 16 x 3 1/2 in.

‘It is the honey in my veins that makes my blood thicker and my soul calmer.’
F. Nietzsche, in Thus Spoke Zarathoustra, Le Livre de Poche, 1972

The Vins d'Anjou series deals with the reproduction of the colour of blood before oxidation. Running through our veins, blood can change from bluish to yellowish, sometimes nearly translucent, nuances. Only when in contact with air does it turn into the deep red that became its main attribute. The canvas and its traditional cross-shaped wooden frame are here turned into octagonal paintings.

Deh Deh, 2015–2016

dry pigments and natural oils on canvas
200 x 160 cm.; 78 3/4 x 63 in.

As the descendant of a wandering ancestry, Demester is influenced by a wide variety of cultures and traditions. It is also an inherited wanderlust that drew the artist to Africa in 2015, where he was invited for a residency at the Zinsou Foundation in Benin. During the residency in Cotonou, he discovered an alternate way of connecting to the world, through the power of magic, rituals and dances inspired by a keen observance and insightful knowledge of nature as well as of the spiritual world. He eventually returned to Benin in 2018, where he completed several new works.

All works: © Jeremy Demester