Les Ateliers Courbet unveils new editions by renowned lighting artist Thierry Dreyfus

Published: 30 October 2020 - 7:03 p.m.
By: Jane O'Neill
For more than 30 years, Thierry Dreyfus has been sculpting, drawing and projecting light.

Described as a 'discrete character,' Dreyfus' work can be anything but. The French lighting artist has garnered worldwide recognition with an extensive portfolio of public art installations commissioned by international cities, museums and institutions.

A former lighting assistant in the worlds of theatre and opera, Dreyfus brought dramatic flair to The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York with his lighting scenography of 2017 'Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between' exhibition and, as part of the City of Paris's 2006 Nuit Blanche,he installed 'Co-Naissance,' a 80m-high ladder to the sky in front of the National Public Library of France.

He was also the first artist to install his work in the mediaeval cathedral Notre-Dame de Paris, creating a site-specific installation there in 2010. (We're pleased to note that since the devastating fire of April 2019, Notre Dame's crypt has recently reopened with an exhibition paying homage to writer Victor Hugo and architect Eugene Viollet-Le-Duc.)

In the same city, the artist was also commissioned for the grand reopening in 2015 of the Grand Palais. For one night, the building's glass nave shone like buffed quartz as powerful light beams pierced through its glass roof and allowed more than 50,000 visitors to see the seminal building in a different light.

Dreyfus then re-focused his talents on New York to create 'Vein of Light,' a permanent public art in the heart of midtown Manhattan. Exploring the relationship between light and the 'city that never sleeps', the neighbouring Broadway area and its inhabitants, the artist erected a vertical column of LED lights, climbing up the façade of the residential building like a vertebra and pulsating to a resting heartbeat.

He allows light to materialise at an intimate, personal scale through a catalogue of sculptural lamps and 'Objets de Lumière' that have been created over the last decade. Ranging from prototypes of lamps filled with salt crystals to square-section neon tubes carefully refracting the natural or the environmental light, each piece bears its own character, while sharing the artist's thoughtful, playful and poetic vocabulary.

New-York based design gallery Les Ateliers Courbet unveils Dreyfus' new light editions in October 2020 and the artist invites us take what we need from each one. "There is something both humbling and empowering in being able to trigger emotions, inspire or influence one's experience with an elusive medium that is both absent and yet inherently, terribly present," he says.

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