The Swiss artist Rémy Zaugg (who died in 2005) assembled over the course of four decades a body of work that as analytical as it is elegant, as relentless as it is poetic.
Sprawling through the Palacio Velázquez Palace in the Madrid’s Retiro Park, this large show offers an impressive overview of Zaugg’s work, including his 27 esquises perceptives d’un tableau (1963–68) a series of deconstructive studies of Cézanne’s Le Maison du Pendu (1873); Zaugg’s extended examination of Cézanne’s painting combines homage and challenge into a tour de force that recalls the theme-and-variation structure more common to musical composition. Zaugg’s later language-based works, looser in spatial composition but no less intense, continue to examine the perceptual and conceptual interplay of text and image. “Questions of Perception” is a large show but does not feel like one: the cavernous Palacio de Velázquez allows the works ample breathing room, and its abundance of natural light provides welcome support to Zaugg’s programmatic use of colour in his paintings.
- Rémy Zaugg, Recording the Time of a Film Projection, 25 August 1990