Peter Downsbrough - In/On

Vernissage Saturday May 13 2023, 5PM

Exhibition In/On Saint-Martin Bookshop
May 13 - June 17 2023

Peter Downsbrough has developed a strongly reduced visual vocabulary, which he uses to investigate the given space in a very personal and precise way. His material consists of letters and lines. He uses adhesive letters, forming conjunctions, prepositions, verbs and/or nouns and applies them to the walls, floors and/or ceilings. Lines, for which he uses cloth tape, emphasize certain architectural elements. Metal pipes, in the space and sometimes on the wall, accentuate the space. Areas defined by lines or painted black sometimes play a role, and, with the lines and the words reveal the architecture of interior or exterior spaces.

This rigorous treatment of the space continues in Peter Downsbrough’s books, maquettes, photographs, films or prints. They all reveal an extreme coherence, which some situate in the minimal and conceptual art movements. In the course of time, the spatial interventions with the parallel vertical pipes or dowels have been complemented with words, lines and planes. Conjunctions such as AS, IF, BUT, EN, ET, OU... have a double function: they work as iconographic signs which underline and reveal the space, and they offer the viewer the possibility to go, in his/her mind, from one thought to the other. For a conjunction is a word that can’t be declined or conjugated; it establishes a connection between sentences or parts of sentences.

Major exhibitions:
, 112, Greene Street, New York City, 1971
Peter Downsbrough, Windham College, Putney, Vermont, 1972
Peter Downsbrough, PSK/PBA, Brussels, 1975
Rooms, inaugural exhibition, P.S.1, Institute for Art and Urban Resources, Long Island City, Queens, New York, 1976
Peter Downsbrough. Sculpturen in het Van Abbemuseum en in de binnenstad van Eindhoven, Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, 1977
Peter Downsbrough. Special Projects, P.S.1, Institute for Art and Urban Resources, Long Island City, Queens, New York, 1980
Présence discrète, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Dijon, 1983
Peter Downsbrough / Robert Barry, Le Consortium, Dijon, 1985
Peter Downsbrough. Dům umění města Brna, Brno, C.S.F.R., 1990
1965-1975. Reconsidering the Object of Art, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, 1995
Passions privées - Art moderne et contemporain dans les collections particulières en France, Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris, 1995
Le bel aujourd’hui. Oeuvres d’une collection privée, Le Nouveau Musée - Institut d’art contemporain, Villeurbanne, 1997
Peter Downsbrough. Modèles, 1983-1998, Mamco, Genève, 1999
POSITION, overview exhibition, PBA/PSK, Brussels; Espace de l’Art Concret, Mouans-Sartoux; Muzeum Sztuki, Lodz; Mamco, Genève and Argos, Brussels, 2003
Wiels!, Le Centre des arts contemporains/Centrum voor Hedendaagse Kunst Wielemans – Ceuppens proje(c)t, Brussels (B), 2003
Peter Downsbrough, S.M.A.K. Stedelijk Museum voor actuele Kunst, Gent, 2006
Peter Downsbrough / Artists and Photographs,  Musée de Louvain-la-Neuve, 2009
Less is More. Pictures, objects, concepts from the collection and the archives of Herman and Nicole Daled  1966 - 1978, Haus der Kunst, München, 2010
Peter Downsbrough. The Book(s) 1968 -2010, deSingel, Antwerp, 2011
Le miroir et les chemins, MAC’s, Musée des Arts Contemporains, Site du Grand Hornu, 2012
Peter Downsbrough. The Book(s) Addendum, Fabra I Coats - Centre d’Art Contemporary de Barcelona, 2013
1+1+1, Maison des Cultures et de la Cohésion Sociale, Molenbeek, Brussels
MRAC, Musée Régional d’Art Contemporain Languedoc-Roussillon, Sérignan, 2014
Sites of Reason: A Selection of Recent Acquisitions, Museum of Modern Art, New York, N.Y., 2014
A Line is a Line is a Line, Museumcultuur Strombeek /Gent, CCStrombeek, Strombeek-Bever, 2015
Pavilion Intervention, Mies van der Rohe Pavilion, Barcelona, 2016
Between the Ticks of the Watch, The Renaissance Society, Chicago, 2016
FROM/ TO, S.M.A.K., Gent and MAC’s, Grand Hornu, 2016
OVERLAP/S, Le Botanique, Brussels, 2019
EKPHRASIS. Writing in Art, Boghossian Foundation - Villa Empain, Brussels, 2019
Rotations 2020 - 2021, Accrochage collections contemporaines, Centre Pompidou, Paris, 2020
Chaosmos à Garage Cosmos, Garage Cosmos, Brussels, 2022
Peter Downsbrough. Mamco, Genève, 2022