The Wheels 1974
The Deserted Fortress 1979
Five years ago while visiting the Rembrandt House in Amsterdam I came across a book in the book store featuring the art work of Erik Desmazieres. The incredible drawings and prints of this artist had up until this point been unknown to me. I was blown away at what I saw, and his work continues to amaze, inform , and inspire me in present times.
Erik Desmazieres (b.1948) is a printmaker and his work has been associated with that of the Art Fantastique Visionnaire School, whose artists find their work heavily influenced by Bresdin, Piranesi, Callot, and Durer. The work of Desmezieres can certainly be compared with that of Dutch Artist Maurits Escher (1898-1972) , as both artists had an amazing knowledge of perspective, and an ability to distort it. Although there are many similarities between Escher's and Desmazieres work I believe that there is also a large fundamental difference in the imaginative architectural superstructures in which they created. In contrast unlike that of the work of Escher , Desmazieres's prints have a much more believable sense of atmosphere. Desmezieres's sense of light, control of values, and his realistic rendering ability makes it possible for him to create convincing environments that the viewer can believably enter.
Much of the artists early work such as,Wheels, and the Ramparts are direct reproductions of pre existing drawings. Desmazieres transfered these insanely tight drawings directly onto the printing plate.The finished prints were almost identical to that of the preliminary drawing, not fully utilizing the print medium and all of its beautiful possibilities for spontaneous results.
In later years Desmazieres approached the printing procedure in a much more spontaneous manner. Rather than creating a fully realized drawing and transferring it onto his plate, he created much more simple sketches in which the finished drawing upon the printing plate was based upon. In the Great Battle , Desmazieres started with nothing more than a few rough drawings indicating the placement and shape of the robotic battle machines, the rest was done directly upon the printing plate in a more improvisational manner.
The Deserted Fortress is another favorite of mine.In addition to these imaginative images , the book that I own on his work also includes a lot of the artists other work. The book titled Desmazieres includes still life work , commissions, and landscapes, all are pretty remarkable. If you are not familiar with this artist you should google him and have a look at some more of his work, or buy the book if you can find it. You will not be disappointed!