Born in southern France, 1978.
Lives and works in Paris.
Baptiste Debombourg studied sculpture at the Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts in Lyon and post-graduated at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris. He is one of the most outstanding young artists of his generation with numerous public installations in France and abroad among which are worth mentioning: La Chaufferie, Galerie de la Hear, Strasbourg; la Maison Rouge, Fondation Antoine de Galbert, Paris; Maison Martin Margiela, Miami and Paris 7e, Paris; Centre d’Art et de Recherche Duplex 100m2, Sarajevo; and Centre d’Art Actuel l’Oeil de Poisson, Québec.
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Baptiste Debombourg has been working with glass since 2005 and Acceleration Field (Champ d’accélération) is his most intricate large-scale installation (250 square meters) to date, the first one, too, to expose itself to outside natural light. This installation belongs to a cycle where glass colonizes space, sometimes processed to turn into black as in Dark Matter (Matière noire) in Strasbourg (La Chaufferie, October 1-November 15, 2015), or left in the raw with its blueish and green tones (Flow, 2013, Québec), or playing with stained glass as in a room of Brauweiler Abbey in Germany, where the material takes over the windows (Aerial, 2012). Glass doesn’t interest the artist for the artisanal craft it requires, its intrinsic fragility or its purity. Viewed through the prism of Marcel Duchamp’s famed and accidentally cracked Large Glass, glass is for Debombourg the product of a dark alchemy, a lively material. Moreover, the laminated glass plates he uses are fastidiously cracked with a hammer, without scattering (the material is made out of two bonded layers). (Excerpt from the text by Bénédicte Ramade)
“Dark matter” is a phrase as suggestive as its nature is problematic. Once separated from the gravitational effect it seems to have on visible matter in the Universe (and it constitutes at least a quarter of said visible matter), “dark matter” can only be the subject of hypothesis. Baptiste Debombourg injected the mysteries and necessities of this little-known cosmic element into his Chaufferie installation: an immersive mass of black glass, punctuated by a mask.
Dark layering flows over levels like a galactic sea in which cracks act as foam. The tangible treatment in monochrome black lends the work a status that is at least two-fold – sculptural and pictorial – and gives rise to additional questions related to the work’s setting, plane, vanishing points, surfaces, volume, reflections, and the position of the viewer, invited to walk on the uneven surface that creaks with each footstep. The audio dimension later appended to the work is one part of its phenomenological nature – it is a work designed to be experienced as much as seen. (Excerpt from the text by Audrey Teichmann)