Label Text: An artist possessing keen powers of observation and technical virtuosity can elevate a commonplace site, like an office or studio, to something unexpectedly marvelous. Érik Desmazières, whose work recalls the precision and detail of master etchers from centuries past, is one such artist. Widely recognized as one of the finest printmakers of his generation, Desmazières is known for composing compelling, hyperrealistic scenes and also intriguingly surreal fantasies. Here, he brings these two strands together. Etched lines render minute detail, while modulated tones in aquatint create an extraordinary atmosphere.
Atelier René Tazé IV is one in a series of meticulously observed views of a Parisian studio belonging to master printer René Tazé. In a long association with Desmazières, Tazé has printed over 200 of the artist’s plates in his studio. Desmazières is captivated by Tazé’s printing press: the beauty of its arcs and angles, cogs and gears, reflections and shadows. Between the crescent spokes of the wheel, we glimpse commonplace details of the studio space, including a water heater and pipes, an umbrella hooked on a window, tangled vines, a broom propping open a skylight, and a heavy curtain pulled aside to reveal more serpentine iron machinery and rectangular doors. In the graceful repetition of curves and circles overlaying the angular architecture of the studio walls, Desmazières finds a joy in the geometry of this humble space.