Marc Desgrandchamps

Biographical Data

Born in Sallanches, France, in 1960. He works and lives in Lyon. Marc Desgrandchamps studies at the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-arts in Paris from 1978 to 1981. His first individual exhibition takes place in 1988. He exhibited in the Centre Pompidou in 2007 and is today considered one of the most important painters of his generation.

Brief Chronology

Marc Desgrandchamps gets his inspiration from pictures, models, reproductions, drawings, the press and movies; and makes his recompositions, “copies from paintings”, which enable him to establish a dialogue with the History of art. In an initial period, his canvases are a combination of figurative art, abstract art and photorealism. He does not respect the scale between figure and background; proportions and situations do not harmonize in often monumental compositions. He paints horses, female nudes (recurrent theme), landscapes, objects on landscapes, and details of these same objects or landscapes. At the end of the 90’s he “exhibits paintings in which the previous gravity follows a process of alteration and dilution in which he doesn’t see an end”. He speaks of “creating with scraps of memory, from fortuitous events, undetermined situations”. These same motifs, characters, animals, objects, fabrics, skies, landscape elements, beach or street scenes, seem to erase, dissolve themselves in a matter that has been diluted and become transparent “with the purpose to escape the pathos that always reappears behind shapes”. His paintings convey an impression of motionless movement, they respond to an “effect of repetition, as if an attitude, an expression, should be adopted incessantly, like that of a woman walking on the beach, a horse falling down, flying birds appearing in the horizon”. Since 2007 he has been exploring a new motif, the city and its architecture. He also creates gouache, drawings and lithography series.


Sans titre, 2001, Oil on canvas, 162 x 130 cm / 63,7 x 51,1 in.