The work of Rémy Zaugg (1943-2005) is intransigent and forces the viewer to take positions. At first glance his refined paintings maintain a distance. Composed of words and phrases, and sometimes verging on the limits of vision, they constantly question the issue of perception and in no way concede the passivity of vision. For the artist, gaze and consciousness are effectively linked and it is through their overlapping that our relationship with the world develops. Thus, whether poetic, elliptical, interrogative or imperative, the language in Zaugg’s paintings is above all the affirmation of an existential will, and mostly comes from themes linked to presence, death, vision and blindness, in a continuous fluctuation between subject and object.

Le monde voit

Seeing is therefore an act of commitment in which the beholder is always in a state of activity because, confronted with paintings featuring sentences (and in which colour and composition impose themselves to the point of saturation or disappearance), the things seen and the things thought are in turn effaced and re-emerge. The artwork requires a consciousness in perpetual movement, in constant definition. The series of fifteen paintings ‘‘The World Sees’’ is in this sense emblematic of the research of the artist, the radicalicalism of which does not eclipse the poetry.

Rémy Zaugg
Le monde voit, 2000
A set of 15 charts of different dimensions
Aluminium, spray painting, printed characters, clear lack
Collection Mudam Luxembourg
Acquisition 2000
© Photos: Rémi Villaggi